After the countless suggestions, and since these are a common holiday recipe, it's time to finally make tamales. Turns out, I really think that homemade tamales are so easy that genuinely anyone could make them if they just show some love. Tender, perfectly moist, and perfect.
2 lbs (900 g) Boneless Pork Shoulder, cubed
3 Tbsp (40 ml) High Heat Cooking Oil
1 Yellow Onion, sliced
4 Cloves Garlic, sliced
3 Bay Leaves
1 Cinnamon Stick
2 Sprigs Oregano
5.75 Cups (1.3 L) Filtered Water
Chili Sauce Ingredients:
3 Ancho Peppers, deseeded & destemmed
3 Guajillo Peppers, deseeded & destemmed
Beef Broth, enough to cover chilis
1.5 tsp Ground Cumin
6 Cloves Garlic
3 Tbsp (40 ml) Neutral Tasting Oil
40 Corn Husks
Boiling water, enough to cover husks
3.25 Cups (395 g) Masa Flour
1 tsp (4 g) Baking Powder
1 Tbsp (14 g) Kosher Salt
1 1/3 Cup (257 g) Lard, room temperature
2.5 - 3 Cups (600-700 ml) Pork Broth
Start by patting dry the meat with paper towels and cut into 2.5” cubes.
Add high heat cooking oil to a dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat until screaming hot.
Add the pork in batches. Sear every side for 2 minutes or nicely brown. Rinse and repeat. Place to the side.
Reduce the heat to medium, add in oil (if needed), and add in thinly sliced onions, sliced garlic cloves. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 2 minutes or softened.
Add in the bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Stir in and add back in the meat topped with sprigs of oregano.
Cover with filtered water. Turn the heat to medium-high. Once boiling return to low.
Cover and let simmer for 1-2 hours.
Remove meat (and only meat) and strain all the vegetables out of the broth and reserve the liquid.
Using 2 forks, shred the meat while it is still hot.
Chili Sauce Method:
Start by destemming and deseeding ancho peppers and guajillo peppers.
Place into a bowl and cover (just enough to cover the chilis) with hot broth from earlier. Cover with plastic wrap, press to keep submerged and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
Once chilis are soft and easy to tear, place into a blender with ground cumin and garlic cloves. Add a little rehydration liquid and begin blending.
Blend on high speed until smooth as possible.
Drizzle in neutral tasting oil and once blended and emulsified season to taste with salt.
Add and mix with the shredded meat.
Corn Husk and Masa Method:
Start by placing the corn husks into a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit and rehydrate for 20 minutes.
In a separate bowl, add in instant masa flour, baking powder, and kosher salt. Whisk together.
In a separate bowl, add in room temperature lard whisking vigorously until creamy.
Add in the masa flour and fold together. Once mixed add in pork broth from earlier.
Take a couple corn husks and tear into thin strands to tie the tamales later.
On a rehydrated corn husk, add the masa flour and, using a plastic wrap on top spread it about ¼” thick.
Place the pork in the middle of the masa, folding one side over the meat and folding the other side over to completely shut.
Once a tube is formed, take the bottom of the tamale and tie using the corn husk thread from earlier. Tamp the top of the tamale down.
Fill a large pot with ½” of water and set a large steamer pot in the larger pot.
Bring the water to a simmer and once steaming place the corn husks into the steamer with tied side down.
Cover and steam for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Serve with chili sauce from earlier or the desired sauce.