I know I've posted about tamales before and didn't put up a recipe. And now I'm doing it again, which is kind of mean. But here's the thing, I don't really have a recipe. I know I should since I was planning on posting about them, but I was cooking with my mom and we just kind of tossed things into pots while we chatted and didn't really pay too much attention. What we did was kind of riff off this recipe from Alton Brown, mostly just for technique. Since I'm such a swell fellah I'll list what I remember us using at the end of the post.
My mom made the pork, she braised it the night before, then we defatted and shredded it the next day. We added another can of green chilies, some more spices, some of the braising liquid and simmered it until we decided it was done. This decision took several tastings, fortunately there was lots. Mmm, gelatinous. The bone turns the braising liquid into stock, it's a good time. Now Mr Brown suggests using lard in the dough, but we decided that since lard is pretty much the absolute worst thing you can eat we would use the fat from the braised pork instead. You know, because it's healthier. Heh. Plus it has tons of flavor, not to mention the fact that it was already available and didn't require going to the store. Making the dough is easy, you just work the fat into the masa like you're making strussel, then add the liquid and mix. And there it is, time for to make tamales. We pretty much followed Alton Browns directions, except we made them bigger. Because we could. It took us most of the afternoon to roll them all up and since they were about twice the size as the recipe called for it took twice as long to steam them. But it was worth it, they came out awesome. Sure, there were tons of them, way more than we could conceivably eat in one sitting. So I sent her back to my brothers with about a dozen and tossed the rest in the freezer. They freeze really well, it's a good time. We did eat some, of course, served with salsa, sour cream, sharp cheddar and some green onion. Lovely, isn't it? Doesn't stay that way for long, I assure you. So, yeah, tamales. They are good, I suggest you make them. Whats more, I suggest you recruit help and make a lot.
As promised, here is the basic list of ingredients we used:
for the filling:
3 lb bone in pork shoulder (Boston butt)
chicken broth for braising
cumin, oregano, chipotle powder, garlic, onion, tomatillos, green chilies (one small can while it braised and another mixed in after shredding), fresh lime juice, cilantro, frozen corn, some of the braising liquid (reserved to mix in once the meat it shredded)
for the dough: masa, fat (from the chilled braising liquid, lard or shortening), braising liquid, baking powder, adobo seasoning, salt and pepper