Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ann's Homemade Pork Tamales

These were a hit last year - not sure if I'll find time this year but everyone loves them. The ingredients are not an exact science - get creative!

6-8 lbs pork shoulder boneless ‘spareribs’ or other lean pork meat
4 T olive oil
2 T oregano
2 T garlic powder
2 T cumin
3 large onions
1 small can chipotle peppers in adobo
salt, pepper
a few small cans of diced mild green chiles
corn husks
masa for tamales - about 6 cups
lard - 2 cup

1. Get a large pot of water boiling. Put in pork, bring to boil, then simmer till tender, about 2 hrs.

2. Fill the sink with water and soak the corn husks

3. Slice the onions and saute in 2 T olive oil till carmeleized completely. Remove from heat and chop finely.

4. Chop about 4 of the cipotles as well and set aside

5. When meat is done, remove fat and shred finely. SAVE The broth!! Saute in 2 T of olive oil till it browns up a bit. Add cumin, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste, as well as onions & chipotles. If you like more flavor, consider adding a few cans of mild green chiles. This is your filling.
5. Make up the masa dough by thoroughly mixing masa, lard, and about 2 1/2 to 2 c broth from the meat till it ispongy but not mushy. If necessary add more ingredients. (proportions are about 2/3 c lard to 2 c masa to 1-1 1/2 c broth). Add salt to taste.
6. To make tamales, pat a few of the corn husks with a towel to lightly dry. Spread masa mix on 2/3 of the husk, leaving 1/3 of the side and the smaller end without masa. Add a few T of the filling and roll up, starting with the full side. Fold bottom end over and set aside. Keep this up till they’re all rolled.

7. Put them in a steamer, folded side down. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 1 1/2 hrs. Take on out and let sit for five minutes. Masa should easily fall away from the husk when unwrapped. If not cook a bit more and test again.

8. When done use tongs to remove tamales, and let them dry on a cookie cooling rack. Put 6 to a small zip lock baggie and freeze.

I also made an alternative filling with cooked corn, black beans, diced mild green chiles, some chipotles, cumin, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper, and 3 medium onions caramelized. OR you can make desert tamales by using a crushed pineapple filling with raisins and cinnamon and sugar over the masa. Still wrap and steam as usual.

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