Recipe for Pork Tamales


6 lb pork meat or turkey
10 lb fresh corn dough or make
1 your own with masa harina*
1 head of garlic
1 1/2 lb dry corn husks (hojas)
1/2 lb pacilla chile (powdered or
1 your favorite red chile)
2 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cominos or cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder


Cook the meat in enough water (covering about half of the meat) for 3-4 hours with a whole garlic head. The juice of the meat is needed for the dough, so be sure you have enough without adding more as you cook it. When the meat is cooked, remove from juice and chop. Put 2 cups of lard in skillet, add meat, flour, salt ( tbsp.), garlic powder, and pepper, the cominos, pacilla chili and 1 cup of water. Stir and let cook for 10 minutes or until the spices are blended. Stir occasionally so that the meat does not stick to the pan. Remove from heat. Put the corn husks (hojas) to soak in hot water. Usually in one side of the sink works real well. When they are soaked about 15 minutes, separate them one by one. Do not tear them. They come right off. If you purchase fresh dough rather than preparing your own with masa harina, omit the directions in parentheses. If using Masa Harina mix according to directions on the bag, and continue with the following directions. * (Place corn dough in a large mixing bowl and add 5 cups lard and 8 tbsp. salt and 1 cup chili powder and blend until all is the same color. Add salt if needed. Then add meat juice and mix with hand until creamy soft, but not runny. Watch yourself, because too much liquid will ruin the consistency of the dough. Use about 5-6 cups and add more if needed.)

Then spread corn dough onto the corn husks lengthwise (only half way) with a spoon or spatula. Put 1 tbsp. of meat onto dough. Roll and fold in half. Put them in a big pan with a good lid. They cook mostly with vapor. Line bottom of pan with corn husks mostly little ones and torn ones. Then place a small pan or aluminum mixing bowl in the center, to stand the tamales up on. They cook with the fold down and are stacked all the way up as in layers. Cover with aluminum foil. Add 8-10 cups of water with 2 tablespoons of salt, cover and cook for 1 hour, or until the corn dough falls off the corn husks when you open them. Be sure you cover them good. It is very important in the cooking. To serve just remove corn husks and serve with rice or refried beans. They can be frozen raw or cooked.

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