Tamales

The Holidays are a time for tradition and celebration.  Why not gather family and friends to prepare a dish that has held such high regard in the Hispanic community?  That’s right, get together, laugh, talk, celebrate and make some tamales!  The end result is a delicious, meat filled dough that you can enjoy for any meal.

Ingredients:

Masa

  • 5 lbs. La Tapatia Masa (corn Dough)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 8 oz. Vegetable oil or vegetable shortening
  •             OR 1 lb. Lard

Meat & Mole

  • 3 lbs. boneless pork or beef meat
  • 4 oz. California or Pasilla chili pods
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Salt
  • 1/2 bag corn husks (8 oz.)
Directions:  

Masa

  1. Mix La Tapatia masa, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  2. Blend oil or shortening and pour into masa mixture a little at a time.
  3. Mix for about 15 to 20 minutes making sure the masa is well blended.

Meat & Mole

  1. Place meat in a large pot with cold water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 1½ hours.
  2. While meat is cooking, remove stem and seeds from chili pods.
  3. Toast lightly in ¼ cup of oil in nonstick pan.
  4. Place chili in blender, add water and blend until smooth.    (Optional:  Canned mole may be used in place of steps 2-4)
  5. Cut meat into small pieces.  Cook with remaining ¼ cup of oil until browned.
  6. Add chili mixture and salt to pot of meat.  Cook for seven minutes.  (For best results: prepare mole/meat mixture the night before.  This allows the mole to coagulate for easier preparation.)
  7. Soak corn husks for a few minutes and rinse well.

To assemble tamales:

  1. Arrange ingredients in an assembly line as follows: corn husks, masa mixture, meat/mole mixture.
  2. Spread masa evenly over husks.   (Note:  masa should be spread on inner/smooth side of husk with the widest part of the husk at the top)
  3. Place a rounded tablespoon of meat/mole mixture in center of tamale.
  4. Fold left side of husk over meat mixture, then fold right side of husk over the center to create a “closed” tamale.
  5. Fold bottom “tail” of corn husk up and behind the tamale and set aside.
  6. Continue preparing tamales until ingredients are used up. 

To cook tamales:

Arrange prepared tamales in a steamer so that they are “standing” with open end up.  Cover with a cloth and steamer top.  Steam tamales for approximately 60 - 90 minutes or until masa is firm.

Makes 3 to 4 dozen Tamales.