New Year, Old Traditions.

Hello, my dear artsy friends.  I hadn’t been able to post because my internet was down.

I had a wonderful winter break with my family making the traditional tamales.

My sisters-in-law made all the ingredients – cooked two pork roast, then shredded them, roasted the red chile pods, ground them, and squeezed the sauce out with a sieve to achieve a velvety liquid.  Then the head of a pig was cooked until all the meat fell of the bones.  This is the part that groases me out but it gives the best taste to the filling! The shredded pork and the chile sauce were combined to make a delicious filling.

In the morning of the “Tamalada” we had all the ingredients ready except for the masa which had to be prepared.  My husband volunteered to kneed the 40 pounds needed to make tamales for the whole family!  For one batch of 20 pounds, he combined 30 Tbsps of baking powder, a medium container of melted lard, and salt to taste.  After he kneaded the masa he had to go take a nap because he was exhausted, LOL!

ArtKneeding

That’s me in the foreground enjoying the first batch!

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My sisters-in-law, preparing the red chile and shredded pork.

The corn husks were soaked in hot water and we were ready to go.  Four women trying to make tamales their way – yeah, a lot of fun!!

I used a small palette board to pick up the masa and spread it on the softened corn husk, then a big tablespoon of the filling was added to the masa and the husk is wrapped it around it.  Now, they’re ready to be stacked up on two genormous tamale pots.  They only take an hour to cook.

We ended up making 20 dozen  of red chile, and 10 of green – and believe me, we are still eating tamales for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Here’s the recipe, if you want to make your own tamales:

Ingredients:

Pork Shoulder, pork butt, or loin. Boneless is best but more expensive. Cook over low heat and add garlic cloves, salt, onions. Trim any fat, and shred.

Well kneaded masa: for a 4 pound bag of Masa Para Tamales* use
3 tablespoons salt
3 tablespoons baking powder
3 tablespoons of salt

1 pound of lard melted.  Or you can use the broth from the pork shoulder.

*SKIP this step by buying Masa Preparada (prepared dough) from a Mexican grocery store or bakery. One pound of masa is enough for half dozen of tamales-30 lbs is 15 dozens of tamales.(Masa is that stuff that looks like mashed potatoes in the photo. Should be creamy or fluffy will spread well on the husks – ojas).

Chile sauce: It is worth it to make your own, but a little time-consuming and messy.  We use several bags of dried Ancho chiles.  This is the process:  Remove stems and seeds, soak them and garlic cloves for 30-45 minutes in 3 cups of hot water. Place all in a blender with two cups of the water, give it a whirl, and add salt. Run it through a sieve to remove the large pieces of dried chile.  Heat two teaspoons of vegetable/olive oil into a large saucepan, add two teaspoons of flour into the hot oil and stir until browned. Add the chile from the blender. Simmer until thickened. Add the shredded pork meat into the chile. Let it simmer together for 30 minutes or so.

Corn husks or ojas. Remove the cornsilk and soak them in a large pot of warm water until soft. Costco, Ranch Market here in El Paso, and most Mexican supermarkets have these dried in packages.

There’s lots of YouTube videos that show you how to make tamales.

Or, you can buy them at a Mexican grocery store and save yourself a lot of time and frustration.

There are more pictures on my Instagram account here:  Instagram

Stay tuned for my first project for this year for Life Book 2016.

Thanks for visiting,

Happy eating!

Carmen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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