Food Recipe: Tamales

As per Rikki’s request, courtesy of Amber.

Slow Cooker Mexican Style Meat
The yummy stuff for inside the tamale.

2-3 lbs. Pork roast (we used a butt roast and 4 lbs.)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion chopped
1 and 1/4 cups diced green chilie pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
hot pepper sauce

Add everything to crock pot and let cook over night — you could also let it simmer covered on the stove. When the pork is done, use two forks to shred it into small pieces. Later, we’ll wrap the shredded pork in the masa and corn husks to make a tamale.

After you shred the pork, this is a good time to crumble Mexican cheese (queso) and slice canned jalapenos. Of course, you should experiment and use what you like for inside your tamale.

Masa
The delicious corn mixture surrounding the shredded pork, cheese and peppers.

2 cups Masa Mix (tan bag)
1 teaspoon chicken stock granules
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon New Mexico Chili Powder
1 tablespoon California or Colorado Chili Powder
3/4 cup lard (blue box)
2 cups warm water
Add dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until well-blended. Add lard and cut into the dry mix–like you do for pie crust.

Add 1 cup warm water and mix by hand; add additional warm water to reach the right consistency as needed–with a double batch I add a little over 3 cups warm water. Do not make more than a double batch of the masa at a time.

Assemble tamales
The most time consuming step.
1 package dry corn husks (about 70 husks)
35-feet kitchen twine, cut into 6-inch pieces

Soak the corn husks in warm water for at least 15 minutes.
Roll a small of masa in your hands until it’s the size of a fat thumb. Place the masa roll on a single corn husk (about 12 inches square). Smash out the masa until it is a 3 to 4 inch circle about a half inch thick.

In the middle of the masa circle, place a tablespoon of shredded meat, a pinch of crumbled queso and a canned and sliced jalapeno. You can use different mix-ins if you like.

Now pat out a smaller circle of masa (about the size of a quarter), place it on top of the meat, cheese and jalapeno. Use your fingers to stretch the masa out so the meat, cheese and jalapeno are completely covered.

Next use your burrito wrapping skills to fold in the sides of the corn husk. You want the masa to seal at the edges so none of the meat, cheese or jalapeno is poking out. Lay the sides of the corn husk back down and flat.

Pull the bottom of the corn husk up, over the top of the masa, gently pul the corn husk down until the masa feels tight. Then pull the sides of the corn husk back over the masa, wrapping it like a present.

Now use the kitchen twine to tie the top of the masa like a small purse. (They should look like the ones in the photo.)

Steam
Using a pot of boiling water, a colander and a lid steam the wrapped tamales for 15-20 minutes depending on size.

Remove from the colander using tongs.

Let cool. Enjoy!
Tamales is an all day process and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you are serious about making tamales give yourself plenty of time and space. Good luck!
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