HOMEMADE TAMALES, STEP BY STEP
RED CHILI PORK TAMALES
Easy Step By Step Instructions
- Prep Time: 190 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 Hour 45 to 55 minutes
- Total Time: 4 hours 35 minutes +
- Yield: 24 servings +
- Skill Level: Beginner +
- Kitchen Appliance: Stove, Multi-Cooker, Food Processor, Blender,
Another mouth watering recipe for your Latin Food file.
My recipe is a combination of of 5 different meat filling recipes. I made them until I found one that I really liked. Now I have my wonderful creation. The masa recipe is off the back of the Tamal Mesca bag. Simple easy. The only difference is I tan and use my Lard, Manteca or Tallow warm to enhance the flavor of the masa. Instructions down below.
A tamale is a traditional Mesoamerican dish, made of masa or dough, which is steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf. The wrapping can either be discarded prior to eating or used as a plate. Tamales can be filled with meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, chilies, chocolate or any thing your heart desires, and both the filling and the cooking liquid may be seasoned with what ever your main ingredient is in your tamale..
If you are trying to decide what to make for a special occasion, holiday or Christmas we think you might enjoy a little spice and sweetness instead.
The secret to a good tamale is moisture. Lard and broth are key ingredients to achieve a smooth creamy flavorful masa.
There are several variations of the tamale. From breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert. The tamale base masa is like a white bread recipe that you make your own by adding your favorite ingredients. Use your imagination and be creative.
Today we will be making:
Red Chili Pork Tamales
There are a few ways to Cook the Tamales. You can use a Pot with a wire rack to hold tamales out of water, Multi Cooker or Rice Cooker with a wire rack (45 min to 60 min) or a Crock Pot/ Slow Cooker function with wire rack (takes about 2 hours +or-). I use the “Steam” function on my Multi-Cooker by Crock-Pot for no less then 45 minutes to 80 minutes.
Prepare the Corn Husks by soaking them in a large pot with warm water. Make sure to separate each husk and clean thoroughly before you place them in the pot of warm water.
Preparing your filling is just as important as the masa. You need to pre cook your ingredients. Make sure you add enough moisture to your red chili sauce. This can be made ahead of time. I have made it when I had leftover pork and I just freeze it until I have time to make tamales.
RED CHILI PORK INGREDIENTS
- Pork better if mixed parts like the butt, chops or loin ( fat and lean meats mixed)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 can 10 oz. Enchilada sauce
- 10 dried red chili’s chopped in blender
- 1 Teaspoon cumin
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 1 whole clove of garlic
- 1 onion
- 1 small bunch fresh cilantro (leaves only)
- Rub pork with cumin and salt. Place all the ingredients in the multi cooker and stir. Select meat on the pressure cooker function. Cook until the pork is tender, approximately 90 minutes. Using slow cooker or pot on the stove method to cook your meat, at least 2- 3 hours until tender.
- Open the multi cooker or pot and mix all ingredients together, break the meat down. Pork is broken down and shredded.
- Place lid back on and slow cook for 2 hours.
- After 1 hour check to make sure you have plenty of moisture if not add another cup of water and mix together.
Preparing Your Masa Its important to remember your liquid to dry ingredient ratio. It will be better if the masa is a little moist than dry.
Lard, Manteca or Tallow oil must be tanned to bring out the flavor. By heating the Lard, Manteca or Tallow over medium heat for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Make sure you watch the lard closely so it does not burn or start on fire. Be very careful handling the hot oil.
As you slowly heat the melted lard up to it will start to turn colors. From a clear liquid to a golden brown. Burn point is 420 degrees so watch it closely. The scent will become more appealing, It will actually smell like a tasty piece of meat. Just remember this aroma is the flavor to your masa. So if the aroma makes your mouth water for a juicy steak, it’s ready. Let it completely cool down to luke warm before using.
Speaking of your liquids. You can use the juices from your boiled meats after removing the fat content, which can be achieved by placing the cooled broth into the refrigerator for a few hours. You can also make your own vegetable or fruit broth to be used for your other tamales.
- 2 cups Tamal masa mix
- 2/3 cup Lard, Manteca or Tallow
- 1 1/3 cup Broth (beef, pork, chicken vegetable) your choice
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
Mix your dry ingredients together (maseca flour, salt and banking powder) in a separate bowl and set to the side.
Add your lukewarm Lard, Manteca or Tallow to a separate large bowl for mixing. Slowly add 1/3 of maseca to the warm oil while gently stirring so the oil doesn’t splash. Continue adding 1/3 of the dry mix until it is mixed well and it is fluffy and light in texture. Cover with damp cloth or saran wrap for 15 minutes. It’s always better to use a larger bowl
After 15 to 20 minutes your masa should be fully hydrated and ready to spread on your corn husks that have been soaking for an hour or longer in warm water.
Gather all your ingredients husks, pork, masa and (extra sauce if needed). Make sure to pre-make your ties from smaller husks that wont be used to make the tamales. No waste here.
You need to line your pan in this order, #1 water, #2 wire rack and #3 moistened corn husks or banana leaf are last. The water should be right under the rack and not cover the rack or touch the tamales. Less is best and refill when needed. You can put a quarter or spoon in the bottom of the pan so when the water gets low it will sound the alarm so you can add more water. If you need to add water during cooking make sure to pour down the side of the pan so you don’t pour any water on your tamales. Make sure you put the husks or leaf back on top of the tamales. Close the lid and reset your time to finish them.
Making the Tamale. Place a corn husk on the plate. Place1 1/2 tablespoon of masa and place baggie or saranwrap over and gently even the dough out. Remove the plastic. Place 1 1/2 tablespoon of meat filling in the center and even it out on the masa. Place one side of the husk over the edge of meat and gently pull the husk away and place the other side of the masa on the edge of other and fold the other husk across and fold the bottom up and tie off. Place it in your pot and your on the way to a delicious meal you have created.
Place the tamales in the pan until full, place moist corn husks or banana leaf over the top. Place in Multi-Cooker or Rice Cooker and set to steam for 45 to 60 minutes or until masa has cooked all the way through. Test by taking one out and see if the masa is firm and easily pulls away from the corn husk. If not put the lid back on and cook for another 15 minutes and check again. Always add only 15 minutes each time you add time. If you are using a pan on the stove you just have to add more water at different intervals and watch it.