Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish. The packets of corn dough have a savory or sweet filling and are typically wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves. Because they take a while to make, tamales are served more for special occasions and holidays than as everyday fare. —Jacquelynne Stine, Las Vegas, Nevada
Total TimePrep: 4-1/4 hours Cook: 25 min.
- 1 boneless pork shoulder butt roast (4 pounds)
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/3 cup adobo sauce
- 1/4 cup chili sauce
- 2 dried guajillo chilies
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 32 corn husks
- 7 cups maseca cornmeal
- 9 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 4 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1-1/2 cups butter-flavored shortening
- Place the first eight ingredients in a Dutch oven. Cover and bake at 325° for 3-4 hours or until meat is very tender.
- Meanwhile, place corn husks in a large kettle; cover with cold water and soak for at least 2 hours.
- Remove roast and shred meat with two forks; set aside and keep warm. Skim fat from pan juices; discard chilies. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced to 4 cups.
- For filling, in a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, baking powder and salt; beat in water, 2 cups pan juices and shortening just until combined (bowl will be full). Refrigerate remaining pan juices.
- Drain corn husks and pat dry. (Until ready to use, keep husks covered with plastic wrap and a damp towel to prevent them from drying out.) Spread 3 tablespoons filling over each husk to within 1/4 in. of edges. Top each with 1/4 cup pork and 3 tablespoons filling. Using the husk to lift one long side, roll up filling. Enclose filling with husk; fold bottom end of husk over the top.
- In a large steamer basket, position tamales upright with folded bottoms down. Place basket in a Dutch oven over 1 in. of water. Bring to a boil; cover and steam for 25-30 minutes or until cornmeal peels away from husk, adding water to pan as needed. Warm reserved pan juices; serve with tamales. Remove husks before eating.
Editor’s Note: Look for chilies, cornmeal and corn husks in the ethnic aisle of your grocery store.