Friday, December 20, 2013

Authentic New Mexican Tamales

This year my husband begged me to attempt tamales --He even promised to help with them :) since the ones found here in Las Vegas are nothing like the ones you find back home. There's nothing like New Mexican red chile. 

I was pretty nervous to try again since like I mentioned before our tamales with our mom did not come out good. I set out to find an authentic New Mexican tamale recipe online and also asked my mother-in-law how her family makes theirs. With her input and an awesome recipe I found online we made our first batch of Red Chile Pork Tamales.

Coley and I had a pretty heated debate whether we should use chile powder or chile pods, but other than that everything went pretty smooth. :)

First I put a 3lb. Pork roast in the crockpot over night. You could put it to boil in a large pot as well. Once it is fully cooked drain juices into a large bowl or cup. (Do NOT throw broth away, you will use it later). Shred pork into a large bowl.

Gather ingredients to make the tamale masa. During this time you should wash off corn husks and put them to soak in a large bowl or pot of hit water. (Soak them until they are pliable and easy to fold).

Cream lard using paddle attachment.

Using your hands gently combine lard and corn masa mixture until grainy looking.

Slowly add in broth and knead until masa is formed. 

Next add the pork into a large pot and add chile powder to taste. (You may need to add water if mixture is to thick. However, it should not be runny). 

Next fill a large boiler pot with water, and put to boil. 

Prepare your workspace, with masa, meat, and corn husks. 

Spread about 2-3 tablespoons masa onto a large cornhusk. (Or place 2 smaller ones together). 

Place about 1-2 tablespoons of meat onto the center of masa and then fold in half length wise until masa on right and left side touch (like a taco). Then fold husk over each other  on right and left side. Then fold top and bottom down. You can tie with a strip of corn husk to keep it closed.

Put tamales to steam in pot. They should take about 45 minutes and will seem uncooked when finished. Leave them to set for about 20-30 minutes.


Tamales (Chile, Meat, Cornmeal-filled Corn Husks)
Yield: 5-6 dozen Steaming Time: 45 minutes Freezes Well 

Corn Husks 
Chile con Carne para Tamales* 

*Recipes below

Assembling Tamales
1. Rinse corn husks and soak in warm water until pliable.
2. Spread the center portion of each husk with 2 tablespoons of masa mixture. Top with 1 tablespoon* of chile-meat filling.
3. Fold the sides of the husk toward the center, the bottom of the husk up, and the top down. Tie each tamale with a corn husk strip.
4. Pour 2 inches of water into a large steamer. Arrange tamales on a rack in steamer above the water level. 5. Steam tamales for 45 minutes (Longer at high altitudes. May also be steamed in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes at 15 pounds pressure.)
* Varied amounts may be used.

Masa(Cornmeal Mixture)
Yield: Filling for 5-6 dozen tamales 

6 cups masa harina* 
 2 cups lard 
3 1/2 cups warm water 
2 teaspoons salt approximately 

1. Combine the Masa Harina and water in a large mixing bowl to make masa. Set aside.
2. Cream the lard and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl using a mixer at medium speed.
3. Add the creamed lard to the masa and mix well.
* Six cups commercially prepared masa may be substituted and the water omitted. Masa Harina is available in the cereal section of most grocery stores.

Chile Con Carne Para Tamales (Chile-Meat Filling)
Yield: Approximately 6 cups Cooking Time: Approximately Temperature: Medium 45 minutes 

1 1/2 pounds beef or pork, 
 2 cups meat broth stewed and shredded 
 1/2 teaspoon salt 
2 tablespoons lard 
 1/8 teaspoon oregano 
1 tablespoon flour 
 1/4 teaspoon comino 
1/2 cup Red Chile Powder* 
 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt 
 1. Combine meat and lard in a large skillet and fry meat at medium heat until browned. 
2. Add the flour to meat and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. 
3. Add the chile powder, broth, and seasonings to the meat. Cook at medium heat for approximately 30 minutes, stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened.

Tamales freeze well. Just put them in freezer bags and defrost when ready to eat. To reheat you can microwave 1-2 tamales for about 1-2 minutes or you can put several tamales to re-steam.

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