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.
Masa (click here to decide what kind of masa you need)
5 lbs La Tapatia Masa (Regular)
Chicken Bouillon Powder*
2 tablespoons salt (optional)
8 oz. Vegetable oil or Or 1 lb. Lard
Meat & Mole
3 lbs. boneless pork or beef meat*
4-8 oz. California or Pasilla chili pods
water (as needed)
3-4 tablespoons flour
1 garlic clove
1 bag corn husks (8 oz.)
Vegetarian Options: substitute with vegetable bouillon, vegetable stock, and vegetable oil, and cheese or beans in place of meat.
1. Soak corn husks in water for 2-3 hrs before using. Rinse well and take off any dust or corn husk fibers. Keep in water and drain a handful at a time before using.
2. Soak chili pods in water until softened, 2-3 hrs. Once soft, pull off stem and remove seeds. Blend with water until smooth paste consistency, season to taste, and transfer to refrigerator until ready to use.
3. Place meat in a large pot of water (optional: add garlic, onion, and salt). Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer until meat is fully cooked, approximately 45 minutes.
4. When meat is done, remove it from pot and shred. Make sure to discard any fat and let cool.
5. Make a roux: combine oil or lard in a large pan with flour (1-2 ratio), stir constantly for 3-5 minutes. Add 2-3 tablespoons of chili powder and 3-4 cups of chicken stock to create a light gravy consistency.
6. Add chili pod paste to the mixture, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, until desired flavor.
7. Add shredded meat to chili sauce and combine. Simmer 5-7 minutes.
8. Place lard in a large mixer or bowl and mix until fluffy (option: add salt).
9. Add half the masa and mix together. Slowly add broth until combined. Repeat until all masa is used.
*The mixture should be about the consistency of smooth peanut butter (add more broth if needed).
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
1. Fill a large pot with an inch of water and bring to a boil.
2. Once boiling, lower heat to simmer.
3. Add a steamer to your pot. Arrange prepared tamales in the steamer so that they are “standing” with open end up.
4. Cover with a cloth and steamer top.
5. Steam tamales for approximately 60 – 90 minutes or until masa is firm.
Makes 3 to 4 dozen Tamales.