Pork Tamales


For the Masa/Dough
400 grams (3 cups) of Masa Harina for Tortillas (Trade name Maseca)
300 grams (1 ⅓ cup) of Lard
550 grams (2 ½ cups) of the broth from cooking the pork.
5 grams (1 teaspoon) of baking powder
Salt if needed though broth has already salt added
16 Large Corn Husks plus more for the steaming pot

For the Pork
625 grams (1⅓ pounds) of pork shoulder cut into cubes.
2 garlic cloves (8 grams of minced garlic)
1 medium white onion
1000 grams (4 cups) of water
5 grams (1 teaspoon) of salt

For the Sauce
2 Ancho Peppers cleaned deveined and seeded.
3 Guajillo Peppers cleaned deveined and seeded.
2 small garlic cloves (8 grams of minced garlic)
2 grams (⅓ teaspoon) of fresh ground cumin seeds
14 grams (1 Tablespoon) of vegetable oil
Salt and black pepper to season

Preparing the Corn Husks
Place corn husks into a large bowl or pot. Pour enough boiling water over the husks to cover.
Place a metal lid or heatproof dish on the husks to keep them submerged.
Soak for about 45 minutes. Remove, drain and set aside.

For cooking the pork
I use an Instant Pot, following my directions for Pot Roast found at pot-roast.html
When the pork finishes cooking, use a strainer to separate the pork/onion mixture from the liquid.
Set the liquid aside for later use in making the masa
Shred the pork in a food processor after 10 minutes and refrigerate it until needed
If not using an Instant Pot, read For cooking without an Instant Pot immediately below

For cooking without an Instant Pot
In a medium-size pot, combine the pork, garlic, onion and 1 teaspoon of salt.
Cover with 550 grams/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat.
Simmer partly covered, occasionally skimming and discarding fat from surface, about 1 hour or until meat is tender enough to shred.
Remove onion, garlic, Bay leaf, and discard.
Skim the broth and when the meat is cool enough to handle shred into bite-size pieces and set aside.

Chile Sauce Directions
Use rubber gloves to remove the stems and seeds from the dried chiles while rinsing them under cold water.
In a medium saucepan, add the chiles, garlic cloves, onion, 4 cups water and 1 tablespoon salt.
Bring the water to a boil then reduce the heat to low.
Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the guajillo chiles are soft.
Remove from the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes.
Pour the mixture through a strainer separating the liquid from the solids
Reserve 1 cup of the liquid. Set aside the remaining liquid for possible use later
In a blender, add all of the solids with 1 cup of the liquid.
Add the 1 tablespoon salt, the cumin, oregano and black pepper. Puree until smooth. About 2 minutes.
Mix in the shredded pork and season with salt and ground black pepper.
Add more liquid (set aside earlier) if needed. Simmer until heated through, about 5 more minutes.

Preparing the Masa
In a large bowl, beat the lard by hand or with an electric mixer until it is light.
I use a wire whip beater in my stationary mixer. This is much quicker than mixing by hand
Add baking powder and the masa and gradually add stock until dough is very light.
If your dough looks dry add more broth or water. Taste and add salt if needed.
Continue to beat until dough is well combined, light and smooth. This step may take 15 minutes or more
To make sure your dough is light enough place a small amount in a glass with water. It will float when itís ready.

Assembling the Tamales
Unfold a soaked corn husk, smooth side up and spread masa all across the width of the corn husk, covering the upper two thirds of the corn husk
Add two tablespoonfuls of the meat filling in the center of the spread masa
Fold the sides of the husks then fold bottom upwards. Leave the top open.
Place tamales standing up in your already prepared tamal steamer.
Cover the bottom with a layer of corn husks so that the tamales don't touch the water
Cover with a dish towel and steamer lid
Steam for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Add more water to the steamer if needed during that time.
NOTE: I place a dime in the bottom of the steamer before I add the water.
As long as I can hear the coin rattling, I know that steamer has not boiled dry
To check for doneness remove one of the tamales and if the husk can easily be removed from the dough they are ready.
If the dough sticks to the husk place back into the pot and cook for 15 more minutes.

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