Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Authentic Homemade Pork Tamales

Here are the ingredients for making tamales.

> A large pork butt roast, seasoned and cooked
> Broth (about 4 cups) and Fat (about a cup) reserved from cooking the pork roast
> Shortening, lard, or oil (I used coconut oil) to combine with the fat from the roast to equal 1 cup
> Masa, 4 cups
> Baking powder
> Spices; ground cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, and salt
> Several cloves of garlic
> 1package dried chilies
> Dried corn husks for wrapping tamales

Tamales are cooked by steam. There is a special kind of pot that is made especially for cooking tamales. Most people in the US do not own one of these special pots. And I don't know where you can buy one.
^ Example of a tamale steamer pot.
I had to improvise. I took my large water bath canner and put some small jelly jars in the bottom along with a few inches of water.

Then I placed the grate, that usually sits on the bottom of the pot when you are water bath canning to keep the canning jars from bouncing too hard on the bottom of the pot and possibly breaking, on top of the jelly jars.

The grate was above the water. It has holes in it that allowed steam to come up through and cook the tamales. My lid would not fit on top snugly so I used aluminum foil to seal the top.

Step 1.

Soak the corn husks in warm water.

Step 2.

Boil some water and soak the dried chili peppers with said water.

Step 3.
Make Masa dough:
4 cups Masa flour
4 cups broth (from pork roast)
1 cup oil/fat (heated to liquify)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon baking powder

Mix the broth and Masa flour together.
Melt your fats and add spices to the fat.
Mix the fat/spices into the hydrated Masa flour.
Sprinkle the baking powder over the dough and mix in thoroughly.

Step 4.
Shred pork roast in food processor.

Step 5.

Cut the stems off of the hydrated chilies with scissors. Put the peppers into a blender along with 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 5 or so garlic cloves, salt to taste, and liquor from soaking the peppers. Blend until smooth.

Step 6.

Combine the pepper mixture with the shredded pork.

Step 7.

Preheat your steamer pot. Fill with 3-4 inches of water. Turn on the burner. Bring the water to a boil and turn down the heat to keep the water simmering.

Step 8.

Spread Masa dough in a thin layer onto a prepared corn husk. Fill with a tablespoon or so of meat filling.

 Fold the tamale and secure with a piece of cooking twine or thin ribbon of corn husk.
(See video from last week on how to fold tamales.)

Step 9.
Layer tamales into the preheated steamer.
Put the lid on the steamer. Turn heat to medium low. Steam tamales for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Or until Masa is done. Make sure the water in the pot does not run dry.
You can check for doneness by unwrapping a tamale. If the Masa sticks to the corn husk the tamales need to cook longer. If the corn husk comes away clean then the tamales are done.

Step 10.
Remove from heat and let rest 5 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!

These were a special treat! They turned out really good!


A Heart of Praise said...

These look yummy! It's been ages since I had tamales! The only time I remember eating them was out of a can, I'm sure homemade ones would be good!

Sister in the Mid-west said...

Thank you for the comment, Heart of Praise!
I have never eaten a tamale from a can. I have heard that you can buy them in a can. I always wondered if they tasted like "real" tamales. :)

Sunshine Country said...

These sound really good. I've also only eaten tamales from a can, and always have thought they tasted very good. I probably wouldn't have the patience to make my own from scratch. :)

Sister in the Mid-west said...

Thank you for commenting, Sunshine Country!
Making tamales is quite a time consuming process! I think it is worth the effort, though, if you like tamales. :)