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a little time consuming to prepare but well worth the effort if you've never had anything but the store bought ones. You will want to prepare the filling first. The corn shells are made last so they don't dry out. the pork stock will come from boiling the meat. you will need to reserve this. I like to put the meat bone in the pot so the marrow will thicken the flavor of the stock. Can also be made with beef or chicken, if using chicken cut back on the spices a bit so you don't over power the meat. Corn shuck scraps can be boiled with the meat to increase the shuck flavor of the tamale. it'll also make the house smell good.
For Corn Shell
- 1 lb cornmeal
- 1⁄2 lb shortening
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 2 2⁄3 cups pork stock, warm
- 2 lbs pork, lean boneless
- 4 tablespoons chili powder
- 4 tablespoons paprika, toasted
- 2 teaspoons cumin, ground
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, ground
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 cup pork stock
- Soak 50 corn shucks for several hours in hot water, each trimmed to about 4"x6".
- For the Filling:.
- cut pork in 3" chunks and boil in water for about 45 minutes or until tender.
- RESERVE THE STOCK.
- remove any excess fat. shred pork (like making pulled pork for bbq).
- In mixing bowl add 1 cup stock and all the spices to the meat, set aside in fridge till ready to stuff the tamales.
- For the Corn Shells:.
- work the shortening into the corn meal by hand or mixer. Add salt, then the stock, mixing well. The resulting paste will be thick.
- when the corn shucks are soft and pliable remove one at a time to form the tamale. leave the rest in the water till ready to use so they stay pliable.
- with off set spatula or table knife spread some corn paste (masa) into the middle of the corn shuck; about 2"x4" and 1/8"thick.
- spread a tbs of the meat filling into middle of the masa. (if you've ever seen someone prepare to roll a cigarette you'll have the idea.).
- Now here's where you will need to practice a bit:.
- when rolling up the tamale don't roll the corn shuck up inside of the masa.
- the shuck will help you roll the masa in the way a bamboo mat helps you roll a spring roll.
- when the tamale is rolled the shuck should be loosely wrapped about it. (the masa will expand while being steamed).
- Tie the ends of the shuck closed and set aside.
- repeat till all the ingredients are used.
- place tamales in a single layer on steamer rack. (i use a lidded dutch oven with a roasting rack).
- steam over boiling water for 1 hour.
- sauce can be made with any left over stock.