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Hello, It has been a while since I posted anything here. Sorry about that. This year I finally tried my hand at making tamales. And my first attempt at making tamales turned out GREAT!

I slow cooked the meat in a crock pot the day before so it would shred easily (no photos of that sorry)
The next step is to soak the corn husks (I have read that you can use parchment paper instead, but I have never tried it) The husks take a while to soften, I would say at least a half hour. In the mean time you can get your red sauce made.

I made my read sauce from scratch. I bought a package of dried New Mexico chillies, cut them open and removed the seeds, veins and stems.

Then tossed them in a cup or so of hot water and let them reconstitute, this takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove the chillies and place them in the blender along with any seasoning you want. I used some salt, garlic and a little cumin. Save the chili water to add into the blender as needed to puree. I ended up using all the water. Now some people strain this chili mixture, I didn’t.

Now take your chili mixture and mix it into your meat. I used a beef tip roast about 2 pounds and ended up with enough mixture to make around 3 dozen tamales.

With all that ready it is time to make the dough. I used dried masa for the dough. Here is the recipe I used.

4 cups masa mix
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoons salt
2 cup lard

approximately 4 cups beef broth (this is not an exact science here, you just need enough moisture to make the dough spreadable, kind of the consistency of something like peanut butter.

So I took the masa, baking powder and salt and mixed that up, then added the lard (you could use shorting if you like) and cut that in kind of like making biscuits or pie crust, then started adding the broth and a little of the chili water until I got a spreadable mixture.

Looks yummy doesn’t it? 🙂

Now it is time to take the corn husks and let them drain a little, then set one down with the inside, curved side up (the part the corn was in) I don’t think this really matters that much but it does make it easier to roll, if the husk is curved up like a little bowl. Take a spoonful of the dough and spread it on the husk, maybe an eighth to quarter inch thick. Keep in mind the dough doesn’t really rise so how ever thick you make it is pretty much the thickness your final tamale will be.

OK blurry photo here but it is all I got, take your meat mixture and spoon a little in the center of the dough, I put an olive in too, then you just roll it up. Sounds simple, I would suggest doing a little youtube research to watch a few people roll them to get an idea of how to do it. Still photos don’t really show how to do it.

Once you have all the tamales rolled up put them in a steamer and stream them for around 30 minutes to about and hour. All the youtube videos I watched in Spanish showed them putting a clean towel over the tamales before putting the lid on to steam so I put the towel on, it seems to hold in the steam and keep you from getting steamed out when you open the lid. One thing I will warn you of is make sure you keep water in your pot, steaming for this long, you can run out of water, I had to add water 3 times since I don’t really have a real steamer pot, I could only have an inch or two of water at the bottom of my pan, so I had to keep adding hot water along the way. You can tell they are done when the dough easily peals off the corn husk.

Well, that is about it. Good luck. I must admit they were much easier to make then I thought and were totally delicious!

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