Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tamales and enchiladas and salsas, oh my!

Tamales are labor intensive guys.  That's why I usually just buy them.  In fact, most everyone just buys them.  Here in Mexico, there are a few women that make their business of selling them, because no one else wants to spent that dang much time.  However, to each their own, and if you're into it, I thought this recipe looked pretty good (though not lard free; I'm sure that's a change I'll make if ever I feel so inspired).  Plus, I love me some slow cooker recipes.  Extra bonus - now YOU don't have to stalk some poor woman through your local "international market."

1 1/4 pounds pork loin
1 large onion, halved
1 clove garlic
4 dried California chile pods
2 cups water
2 cups masa harina
1 (10.5 ounce) can beef broth
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup lard
1 (8 ounce) package dried corn husks
1 cup sour cream 

Place pork into a Dutch oven with onion and garlic, and add water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until the meat is cooked through, about 2 hours.  OR - put this bad boy in your slow cooker on low for a full day (put it on before you go to bed and be ready for it the next evening).  You can add additional spices if you so choose - like cumin, coriander seed, seasoning salt - whatever you've got that you think might be good.

Use rubber gloves to remove stems and seeds from the chile pods. Place chiles in a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, then remove from heat to cool. Transfer the chiles and water to a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the mixture, stir in salt, and set aside. Shred the cooked meat and mix in one cup of the chile sauce.   If you've spent all that time slow cooking your meat in the crock pot - why not use some of that delicious broth instead of water in your salsa?  You can also make salsa verde for this if you'd like your tamales in green sauce instead of red.

Soak the corn husks in a bowl of warm water. In a large bowl, beat the lard (or whatever you're using that is NOT lard) with a tablespoon of the broth until fluffy. Combine the masa harina, baking powder and salt; stir into the lard mixture, adding more broth as necessary to form a spongy dough. 

Spread the dough out over the corn husks to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. Place one tablespoon of the meat filling into the center (one tablespoon?!  psssshhh. . . ). Fold the sides of the husks in toward the center and place in a steamer. Steam for 1 hour. 

Remove tamales from husks and drizzle remaining chile sauce over. Top with sour cream. For a creamy sauce, mix sour cream into the chile sauce.

I really think it's a better idea to make the meat and salsa one day, then you can work on the masa and the steaming the next day so you're not ready to die of exhaustion by the time dinner is ready.

No comments: