Recipe: Red Chile Pork Tamales

    What would the holidays be without the specialty dishes and festive feasts? We’ll take a pass on the turkey and stuffing—and instead pass the tamales, chile and biscochitos of our family’s Southwestern culture.

    Photo by Brent Hofacker.

    You read about our family’s Delicious Traditions for the holidays. Now here’s how to make your own authentic tamales from scratch.

    Start to finish: 3-4 hours
    Servings: approximately 60
    60-70 corn husks (some will tear)
    8-10 cups masa
    6 cups red chile
    water

    Masa
    6 cups masa harina, traditional Latin American flour
    2 cups lard
    3 ½ cups warm water
    2 teaspoons salt

    • Combine water and masa harina and set aside.
    • Using a mixer, cream the lard and salt.
    • Combine creamed lard and masa.

    Red Chile
    1 ½ pounds shredded pork
    2 cups meat broth
    ½ teaspoon salt (add to preference)
    2 tablespoons lard or oil
    1 tablespoon flour
    ½ cup Chimayo, New Mexico, red chile powder
    ½ teaspoon garlic salt
    • In a large skillet, warm oil and brown the pork.
    • Add flour and stir 1-2 minutes to create a roux.
    • Add chile powder, broth and garlic salt to the rue. Cook at medium heat for 30-40 minutes, stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened. Let cool.

    Assembling Tamales
    • Rinse corn husks and soak in warm water until pliable (can be done ahead of time).
    • Thinly spread center of each husk with 2-3 tablespoons of masa.
    • Top masa with 1-2 tablespoons of cooled red chile.
    • Fold sides of husk toward the center. Then fold bottom of the husk up. Optional: Fold the top down, and tie with a corn husk strip.
    • Fill large steamer with 2 inches of water. Arrange tamales in steamer upright on a rack above the water level.
    • Steam tamales for 45-60 minutes.

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