Ok, so this past weekend I decided was the weekend to try making Hot Tamales I have been hearing so much about. it is rather easy to do but so time consuming, right? WRONG! the only time consuming part is the cooking, but it is not like you have to stand over the pot the entire time, clean house, wash dishes, take a toothbrush to the grout or maybe catch up on your Gossip Girl. The cook time on the pork is 2 hours, then you prep stuff, then you cook the finished product for another 1 1/2 to 2 hours. In that amount of time you can catch up on B becoming Queen B again, Serena falling back in love with that Humphrey fellow and well, finally Jenny gets shipped off but not to boarding school like I hopped. I will save the other details if you haven’t seen the finale, AWESOME!
So for the tamales you will need the following ingredients –
1/4 C Chili powder
2 1/2 tsp Red pepper powder (cayenne)
1 tsp Cumin powder
1 tbls Garlic powder
1 tbls Onion powder
2 tbls Sea salt
2 tbls Paprika powder
2 tsp Fresh ground black pepper
3 C Masa meal (find this at any local fruit market)
3/4 tsp Sea salt
1/2 tbls baking powder
1/2 C Lard (I used bacon drippings since I always save it!)
1 1/2 to 2 cups of reserved liquids pork was cooked in
2 lb Boneless pork shoulder roast with all the fat (trim off some if in an excessive amount)
1 to 1/2 Medium onions sliced
2 to 3 Cloves of garlic, minced
1 package of dried corn husks
Water to cover the pork
boiling water for the corn husks
Ok, to begin this recipe, cut your pork roast into chunks that will cook easier then just dumping it into a pot, say about 6 slices. Place them into a pot and pour about 1/2 of the seasoning mix onto it. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the meat. Bring water to a boil and cook for 12 minutes. Turn down the heat after 12 minutes and then simmer for about 2 hours. Once the meat has finished cooking, remove to a bowl and let cool. Save the stock that is left for making the masa and cooking the tamales.
Boil some water and add the corn husks to the pot. Remove from the heat and place out of your way till you are ready to construct the tamales.
To make the masa, mix the corn meal, baking powder, salt and lard together to make a crumble. Slowly add your liquid from the pork slowly till you are working with a dough that is a bit pasty but not too moist it sticks to your hands. Wrap in plastic and set in the fridge till the pork has cooled enough you can shred it.
Once the pork has cooled enough for you to handle it, start breaking it apart with your hands into something a bit smaller then a bite size. You want to be able to cut the tamale with a fork to eat later. Once you have finished shredding the pork, slice up your onion. I give mine the half moon look. You can also dice them up if you would like. Mince the garlic as fine as you can or use a garlic press.
Add some olive oil or vegetable oil to a saute pan and heat till the oil starts to shimmer, do not have the heat too high. Once the oil is heated add your onions and start to “sweat” them a bit. Add the garlic once you start to see the onions have started to soften and almost clear. Cook for about 2 mins and then add the other half of the seasoning. Once the seasoning has been combined you can add your shredded pork, stir and turn off the heat.
Grab your tamale dough from the fridge and a cookie scoop! Place a scoop of the tamale dough onto a corn husk and flatten with the palm of your hand. Once you have spread the dough thin enough around the husk, place a scoop of the meat and onion mixture into the center of the dough. Fold over one side of the dough to close it, then roll up the corn husk around the uncooked tamale till you have a nice tube. Tuck under the bottom to create a nice base for it to stand up on while cooking. Once you have about three of them done, you want to tie them into a nice little bundle and stand it up in the pot. Fit as many bundles as you can into a stock pot, pour the remaining stock leftover into the pot and top off with some water. Fill the pot to about the top of the lowest tamale in the pot, cover and set to simmer for about an hour and a half.
Once the tamales are done, grab your tongs and pull out a bundle. Be careful to not burn yourself, cut the twine and unroll your tamale. You can serve these wet with some of the juice that is left in the pot or you can pour your favorite (or homemade) chili over the top and eat.
Hope you have the time to create these tasty little bundles of pork joy!!!