Tamales

If I’m not mistaken tamales were created by some awesome women a long time ago out of necessity.  I wasn’t there, nor am I a history buff, but that sounds about right. Women are very resourceful and rise to the occasion to smite any challenge that stands in our way. We are strong and capable, fierce as a roaring lioness defending her pride! Nothing will keep us from achieving our goals. Well, that escalated quickly, let’s get back to the tamales. These little corn wrapped gifts are labor intensive but worth it in the end. I would suggest getting the whole family involved to make the assembly that much faster. Here’s what you will need…

Ingredients:
pork tenderloin 2lbs
sesame seeds 1/4 cup
annatto paste 1tbs
bay leaves 6
salt and pepper to taste
California dried chili 1
ancho dried chili 1
pumpkin seeds 1 tbs
raw peanuts 1 tbs
apple cider vinegar 1/4 cup
beef broth enough to cover the pork
spices: cumin, chili powder, onion powder, paprika
instant masa harina 2 cups
lard 2/3 cup
dried corn husks
Mexican crema and chipotle pepper for garnish

I decided to use a slow cooker to cook the tenderloin. Pour the 1/4 cup of vinegar onto the tenderloin then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover the tenderloin with beef broth and add all of the chilis, peanuts, annatto paste, sesame and pumpkin seeds and peanuts into the slow cooker. Cook all combined ingredients on low for about 5 hours. Reserve the liquid you’re going to use it later.

While the pork cooks soak the dried corn husks in very hot water. Soaking the corn husks makes them pliable for later when you roll them.

Now comes the fun, or terrifying part depending on how you look at it. It’s time to make your “masa” or dough. This is the most important part of the tamale and if it’s not good, toss it and start over. You’re going to need lard. Yes, I said it LARD! I never in a million years thought I would ever buy this stuff but hey, it happened I’m as shocked as you are. Whip the lard and about a tablespoon of the broth from the cooked tenderloin together.

Now add the two cups of the masa harina and the spices: cumin, chili powder, onion powder and paprika then blend together. Now slowly add in reserved liquid from earlier until a light spongy dough is formed.

Shred the tenderloin and assemble your assembling station and helpers, if you have them.

Assembly is easy. Place a heaping tablespoon or two onto your corn husk then sprinkle in meat, cheese and any other filling you’d like, then roll the husk up like sushi. Simply repeat a thousand more times and you’re ready to steam lol!

Steam tamales for about an hour, unwrap then enjoy! What are some of your favorite meal items that take forever to prepare? Let me know in the comments.

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