Buy Masa specifically formulated for tamale making.
Soak the corn husks in cool water for 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
I love Central and South American food. From Mexico all the way down to Chile. I love the variety and the ingenuity. So it is no surprise that I am also a big fan of home made tamales.
If you have never made tamales, or tasted tamales, you are in for a real treat. Essentially a Central American comfort food, these parceled beauties can be frozen and re-heated for quick weeknight meals.
Servings: Approx. 20. Preparation Time (Active) 1 hour (Total) 24 hours
750g pork loin
2 adobe chilies, de-seeded and fine sliced*
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp achiote powder*
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground pepper
2/3 cup lard
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
In a slow-cooker, add the pork and remaining ingredients for the meat filling. Add water until the pork is just covered. Cook on low for 8-12 hours.
After the cooking time has elapsed, turn off the slow cooker and remove the lid. Allow the meat and liquid to cool down. Strain the meat over a clean bowl, reserving the liquid. Remove the pork from the strainer and set on a cutting board. Shred the meat with two forks. Set aside. Reserve 2 cups of pork liquid for the ‘masa’ preparation. Discard the rest.
Add the masa flour, baking powder and salt to a large clean bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the lard with the paddle attachment on low/medium until fluffy. Add the dry masa mix and continue mixing until just combined. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Add the reserved pork liquid and mix again for approx. 30 seconds; or until the ‘masa’ has come together and is a little fluffy. Set aside.
In a large bowl, or the sink, soak 20 corn husks in cool water for 20 minutes. Drain the water and allow the husks to drain as well by standing them up against the side of the bowl. Take a clean husk and pat it dry with a paper towel. In the centre of the husk, spread 2 tbsps of the masa mixture out evenly. Do not spread the masa all the way to any edge. Now take 1 tbsp of meat filling and put it in the middle of the masa. Using the husks, fold the masa over the filling.(This works best when the corn husks are still supple from being soaked, but have been dried well with paper towel.) Imagining an envelope, pull the southern tip of the husk up first to form the tamale. Then fold in east and west. Roll the tamale tightly as you fold in the sides. Leave the northern edge open, like an opened envelope. Once rolled up, tie the open top with a strip of corn husk. (There are many how to videos on youtube for additional reference).
Place the tamales in a pot with a steamer rack inside and enough boiling water. Steam them for 45 minutes. Remove them from the heat and leave the pot uncovered for 5 minutes. Serve immediately or allow to come to room temperature before wrapping in plastic wrap and freezing. Enjoy.