- 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
- 3 lbs pork picnic roast, trimmed of visible fat
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cups green chile sauce*
- 2 medium tomatillos, husks removed and coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
- 1 small onion, peeled and diced
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 onion
- 40 Corn Husks
- Tamale Dough (Recipe Below)
Prepare the filling
Place the pork, broth, chile sauce, tomatillos, garlic, pepper, salt, cumin and onion into the slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours. After the time is up, the pork should be fork tender and fall apart easily. There should be just a little liquid left in the bottom of the pot and what is left should be of a gravy consistency. Use two forks or a slotted spoon to remove any large chunks of fat from the pork roast. Shred the remaining pork by pulling it apart into chunks or strands. Mix the liquids and shredded pork together until it is well combined.
*Homemade Chile Sauce Recipe- Roast 2 lbs of fresh green chiles on a grill or under the broiler until the skin is blackened and bubbly. Let them cool, peel the skin off and scrape out the seeds. Cut the stem off and discard with the seeds and skin. Puree or blend the chiles with 1/2 cup water, a tablespoon of vinegar and salt to taste (I usually use about a teaspoon) until smooth. You can also substitute canned green chile sauce if you so desire. You can also add jalapeno's for a little added heat.
Preparing the Corn Husks
Go through the corn husks removing any debris. Separate the larger usable pieces from the smaller bits and pieces. Save the smaller pieces for later. Go through the corn husks removing any debris. Separate the larger usable pieces from the smaller bits and pieces. Save the smaller pieces for later. Place the husks into a large bowl. Cover husks with warm water. Set a heavy item (like a heavy bowl or mug) on top of the husks to keep them submerged. Remove the husks from the water and pat dry. Place into a covered dish or a large plastic bag to prevent from drying out. Use only the larger and medium sized husks for the tamales. The smaller ones can be used later for ties or patches. When looking at the husk, notice the shape. They have a narrow end, a broad end, and two long sides.
Masa Harina Tamale Dough
- 6 cups masa harina
- 5 cups warm water or low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups lard
- 3 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoon cumin
- 3 tablespoon chile powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
In a mixing bowl combine masa and warm water or broth until combined. Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes or so to let the masa soften. Then mix it on low speed until a dough forms. After the Masa Harina is prepared, gradually add in the salt, cumin and onion powder by sprinkling them over the dough as you mix it. In a separate bowl, whip lard or shortening about three minutes or until fluffy. Add the lard to the dough a little at a time while mixing until well combined. The mixture should be about the consistency of peanut butter. If not, add more masa harina, water or broth as necessary.
Assembling the Tamales
Lay a husk on a flat surface. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of dough onto the husk, depending on the size of the husk. Use the back of a metal spoon to spread the dough onto the husk. When spreading the dough, leave a space of about 4 inches from the narrow end of the husk and about 2 inches from the other end. Spread the dough to the edge of one of the long sides and 2 inches away from the other long side. Try to keep the dough approximately 1/4 inch thick. Spread a couple of spoonfuls of filling down the center of the dough, leaving at least one inch of dough around the sides. Locate the long side with a 2 inch space with no masa. Fold that over, slightly overlapping the other side so the edges of the dough meet. Wrap the extra husk around the back. Then fold the broad end over the top and then the longer narrow end over the broad end. Create strips of husk by cutting or tearing 1/4 inch lengths off of some of the smaller or unusable husks. Use these to tie across the middle of the tamale to hold the flaps down. Set tamales upright in a steamer. You can buy large steamers made just for this purpose. You may have something else you can use to create the same effect. The key is to have a small amount of boiling water on the bottom of the pot and a colander or mesh of some sort to keep the tamales away from the water. Steam for about 90 minutes and let them cool before serving.
Making Tamales is easy once you get the hang of it. It may take you a little longer to make the first few, but after you learn the ropes, you'll have a whole batch ready in no time.
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