Making homemade Hot Tamales can be time consuming, but worth every minute it takes. Call your friends and family for help and have a Tamale Making Party. You can make them spicy or mild, with pork, chicken, beef, vegetarian or whatever you like. Some folks even add beans and cheese, the filling of the tamale is only limited by you imagination! This recipe makes 4 dozen you can adjust the recipe for the amount you want to make. In the Southwest, tamales are a tradition during the holiday season, but are enjoyed any time of the year.
Equipment needed to make Homemade Hot Tamales:
Large capacity steamer
Plastic bag, large
Large skillet, with lid
Ingredients needed for Homemade Hot Tamales:
1-4 pound pork roast
1 medium onion, quartered
1 teaspoon salt
4 -5 dozen cornhusks
5 fresh green Serrano chilies
8 tomatoes, peeled, quartered
1 medium onion, quartered
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon chicken-flavored bouillon granules
2 cups shortening
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 cups instant corn masa
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Making the Tamale Filling:
1. In a Dutch oven combine pork roast, 1 medium onion, crushed garlic, and salt.
2. Add water to cover. Bring to a boil.
3. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 1 to 1 Â˝ hours or until meat is tender.
4. Drain meat using straining spoon, reserving 1 cup broth.
5. Shred meat with a fork. Set aside.
6. Place Chile peppers on a baking sheet; broil 3-4 inches from heat, turning often with tongs, until blistered on all sides.
7. Immediately place chilies in a plastic bag, fasten securely, wrap in a towel, and let steam 15 minutes.
8. Using plastic gloves, remove stems and peel each Chile pepper, cut a small slit in side of each Chile, and rinse under cold water to remove seeds; coarsely chop chilies.
9. In an electric blender combine chilies, four tomatoes, 1 medium onion, 3 garlic cloves, and chicken-flavored bouillon granules.
10. Blend tomato mixture until smooth.
11. Pour tomato mixture into a large mixing bowl.
12. In blender add remaining 4 tomatoes; blend until smooth. Stir into mixing bowl with tomato mixture. Set aside.
Softening the Cornhusks:
1. Before you start the tamale dough; in a large bowl cover dried cornhusks with hot water; let stand 1 hour or until softened. To keep the cornhusks submerged in the water, place a heatproof plate over them.
2. Drain cornhusks well, and pat dry with a paper towel to remove excess water.
3. If cornhusks are too narrow, overlap 2 husks to make a wide one. If husks are too wide just tear off one side.
Make the Tamale Dough:
1. In a large mixing bowl cream shortening; add baking powder, baking soda and reserved broth; mix well.
2. Gradually add corn masa to shortening mixture mixing well; beat 10 minutes on medium speed of heavy duty electric mixer until mixture is light and fluffy.
Finishing Tamale Filling:
1. In a large skillet sautĂ© meat in vegetable oil until browned, stir in tomato mixture.
2. Cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
How to Assemble and Steam Tamales:
1. In the center of each cornhusk, place 1 tablespoon of masa dough.
2. Spread dough within Â˝ inch of edge of cornhusk.
3. Place 2 tablespoons of meat mixture on dough, spreading evenly.
4. Spoon in any other filling additions, like cheese or beans.
5. Fold short ends of husk to center.6. Fold one long side of husk to center, enclosing filling completely; roll up from same side.
7. Tie the tamale with string or narrow strip of softened corn husk.
8. Place the tamales into a steamer on folded end. Arrange them so they'll remain as upright as possible.
9. Add just enough water to keep tamales above water.
10. Bring water to a boil.
11. Cover and steam 60-90 minutes or until tamale dough pulls away from husk; add more water as needed.
Yields: 4 dozen tamales
Reheating Homemade Tamales:
1: The best method for reheating tamales is to steam them again. Do so for about ten minutes for refrigerated tamales.
2: For frozen tamales steam 25-30 minutes.
3: You can also reheat tamales in the microwave.
4: Put a damp paper towel over the tamale and then cook for a minute or more. Make sure they are hot throughout before serving.
Add 1 tablespoon of Monterrey Jack or Cheddar cheese to filling before wrapping and steaming. Substitute beef or chicken for meat filling.
Other seasonings that may be added are paprika and black pepper.
For vegetarian tamale dough; substitute vegetable shortening
For a more authentic flavor; you can substitute up to one cup of cornmeal flour for masa.
Tamale toppings include sour cream, green chilies, salsa, and melted cheese.
Sides to serve with tamales are beans, salads, rice, or guacamole.
Cooked tamales can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Frozen tamales should keep for up to six months in freezer.
*Be careful to not steam your hand or arm when lifting the lid on the steaming tamales
*You will not be able to just eat one!