• Sarah Hiers

Rich and Savory Tamales, an Ultimate Comfort Food

Updated: Jan 21


Tamales
Homemade Mexican Tamales

In the last handful of years Tamales have become the New Year Comfort food tradition. Over those years I have experimented with fillings. Provided below are two optional fillings. Number 1 is the filling I was taught by an authentic Mexican chef. Filling #2 is my own recipe. Chose which ever filling strikes your fancy. Or, make a double batch and make both. Friends and neighbors will love a few tamales as a gift.


While we stick to a pretty healthy diet most of the year, the New Year's Tamale is our big splurge with its rich, decadent comfort. Warm, slightly spicy and perfect when the the winter temps drop.


Tamales are also great because they freeze well for future nights when you don't feel like cooking and they reheat easily.


Ingredients

3 Cups Masa Harina

1 Cup Butter or Lard

3 Cups of Broth (approx)

2 T salt

20 - 25 Corn Husks


Filling #1

1 lb ripe tomatoes, sliced

1/2 onion, sliced

1 clove garlic

2 Jalapenos, sliced and seeded

8 oz fresh cheese, sliced

Cilantro


Filling #2

1 - 2 lbs pork shoulder

1 onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic

2 Jalapenos, sliced and seeded

2 cup broth

4 oz fresh cheese

Cilantro


Prep

Soak the corn husks in warm water while the dough is being prepared. The husks should be completely submerged.


Filling #1

In a pan on medium heat cook the tomatoes, onion and garlic in a small amount of oil. Cook for five minutes and add the cilantro. Stir well and cook for another five minutes. Set aside.


Filing #2

Pork shoulder, onion, garlic and jalapenos go into a pressure cooker with several cups of broth. Cook the ingredients per the pressure cooker instructions until meat is tender and shreadable. Once cooled, remove any bones and set aside to cool.


In a bowl, cream the butter/lard. Add masa and broth, one cup at a time alternting first the masa, then broth. Add salt. Beat the mixture until you have a consistency similar to cake batter.


Drain and pat the husks dry.


Now, grab a husk and place about two spoonfulls of dough on the upper third of the husk and spread the dough to make room for filling. (husks are not uniform in size so adjust the amount of dough for smaller husks). Plaqce a slice of cheese and a bit of filling in the dough. Wrap the husk around the filling forming a cylinder. Fold up the narrow end and take a strip of husk and make tie it around the husk to hold the tail in place. (See the photo above for tieing)


Place the tamales in an upright position in a steamer. There needs to be enough water in the steamer to cook the tamales for an hour, or until the tamale pulls way from the husk without sticking. Let the tamales rest for 30 minutes.


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