I remember when I was a teenager, my mom’s best friend was from Mexico. Every year on Christmas eve, her and her family made a huge pot of tamales and we were always given a couple of dozen – and we loved them. It is traditional for the women to gather together and make these wonderful bundles for the family to eat throughout the holidays.
Although they are labor intensive, this recipe is fairly simple and comes out pretty darned good!
What you need:
- Deep pan
- Steamer try that fits in the bottom of the pan
- 2 cups of chopped, cooked pork (see note)
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon ancho chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 1 Tablespoon of lard
- 2 Tablespoons broth
Note: I like to put an inexpensive cut of pork in the crock-pot with garlic and onion powder and salt and pepper – water to cover. Cook over night. You then have the pork AND the broth! If you cook too much pork, you can freeze it and use it for carnitas tacos.
- 2 cups masa flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Mexican or chipotle chili powder
- ½ cup lard
- 1 cup of broth (see note above)
How to do it:
First – soak the cornhusks in warm water for at least an hour. Leave them in the water until you are ready to use them.
To make the meat – melt the lard in a skillet. Add all the ingredients and cook until the onions are soft. Set aside.
For the masa – put everything except the broth in a food processor fitted with a blade. Process until it is a crumbly mixture.
Slowly pour the broth in to form a dough.
Place about 2 tablespoons of dough on a cornhusk.
Spread it as thin as possible and close to one edge.
Place a spoonful of meat mixture in the middle.
Carefully roll the husk so that the sides of the dough touch and seal. Gently roll the husk to make sure the masa has formed a coating around the meat and press the ends together.
Gently fold the bottom over. Some people tie them down with a strip of cornhusk to make sure the stay together.
Continue filling the husks until you have used all the masa and filling.
Place a steam try in the bottom of the pan and place the tamales upright in the pan. My pan wasn’t quite deep enough so they lay a bit on the side. Fill the pan with enough water to touch the tamales.
Bring the water to a boil, cover the pan and cook on high for 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and cook another 45-50 minutes, adding water if necessary.
Remove the tamales from the pot and let them cool.
To serve, remove from husks and offer sour cream, avocado and jalapeño peppers. You can also top them with salsa or enchilada sauce if you like.
Makes about 12 tamales
© Copyright 2015 The Lazy Gastronome
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