Posted On January 4, 2007

Filed under Festive Recipes

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Ingredients >
5 pounds lean pork butt
6 cloves garlic, halved crosswise
3 Tbsp. shortening
3 Tbsp. flour
5 c. red chili sauce (see below)
½ tsp. black peppercorns
4 large bay leaves
salt to taste

Red chili sauce >
3 dozen dried red chilies
1 tsp. sugar
4 cloves garlic
3 quarts beef stock
4 Tbsp. shortening
4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Tamale wrappers >
1 ½ pounds corn husks
4 ½ c. masa harina, packed
¾ pound shortening
1 ½ c. red chili sauce
salt to taste

Method >
Prepare the meat a day in advance.
Place pork butt in a large Dutch oven and add three cloves garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves and salt. Add enough cold water to cover by at least three inches. Over high heat, bring to a boil, reduce heat, partially cover and let simmer for two hours. Skim off any scum/froth during the first 15 – 20 minutes. Remove pork from stock and let cool to room temperature. Strain and degrease stock. When meat is cool enough to handle pull into fine shreds. Place meat into reserved stock and refrigerate overnight.
In a large pot, over medium heat, melt two tablespoons shortening and sauté three cloves garlic until slightly browned. Remove garlic and discard. Add 2 tablespoons garlic and stir until lightly browned. Add three cups red chili sauce and two to three cups reserved pork stock. Sauce should be the consistency of a medium spaghetti sauce. Simmer 10-15 minutes. Remove two cups sauce and set aside. Add shredded meat to sauce and simmer an additional 15-20 minutes. Taste for seasoning and set aside to cool.
Place chilies in a bowl and cover with warm water. Allow to soak until softened. When softened, split chilies open and remove seeds and veins and discard. (Leaving some seeds and veins will make for a hotter sauce.) Place chilies, oregano, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper in a food processor, along with one cup stock and process until smooth. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, melt shortening and add flour, stirring constantly until flour is golden. Add pepper puree, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside and keep warm.
Separate corn husks and soak in warm water at least 30 minutes, preferably overnight. Wash each husk thoroughly under running water, making sure to remove all silk. Place on newspaper and drain well. Place shortening in a large bowl and beat until fluffy. Add masa harina a handful at a time, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. If mixture becomes too stiff, add some stock. When masa harina is incorporated, add salt and red chili sauce for color. Mixture should be the consistency of butter cream frosting for good spreadability.
Pat drained corn husks dry and stack in an overlapping fashion. Spread about two tablespoons of the masa mixture over bottom half of each husk within half-inch from sides and quarter-inch from bottom. Top with a generous tablespoon of meat mixture then fold in half pressing lightly to seal. Continue until all ingredients have been used.
At this point you can either steam and serve the tamales or they can be frozen. Remove from freezer, place into freezer bags or foil, usually 1 dozen per package, and place back into freezer. Do not thaw frozen tamales before steaming.