So already twice this summer (actually in the past month if you want to know the truth) I’ve made tamales. People are pretty intimidated by it, but it’s not as bad as it seems. I found a link a few years ago that I use every time and they are really the best tamales I’ve had. They are good with or without a sauce, and just tend to have a lot of flavor! Ready for it?
I’m not going to give you the recipe, because this guy over here at Son of the South is the recipe I use. I’ll just show you more pictures and tips than he gives. I took the pictures the first time I was making them this summer. One thing I’ll tell you upfront is it takes time!! I spread it out, but it still takes 2 hour chunks of time, just warning you. So I’ll tell you the way I break it up and you can give it a try if you want.
First, you have to get all your ingredients. He tells you everything here. One tip is if you see chicken or pork on a great sale, grab a 4-5 lb. roast, and 4-5 lb. of chicken. You can cook the meat whenever, season it, and then freeze it until you’re ready to do the tamales. I have a gallon freezer bag with a ton more meat in it right now that I’ll use for quesadillas, tamales, tacos, and other such stuff. It’s really yummy! So you can just dump them into a crock pot, or boil them on the stove (for 2 hours). I’ve done both. Cook them separately though (by the way, if you don’t want pork or chicken, or want to try roast beef, do whatever you want! My hubby wants to try some with shrimp next time…we’ll see!) After it’s all cooked, take a tip from Pinterest and shred it this way:
One thing he tells you multiple times is save your broth! So I just dump it in quart jars and keep it in the fridge until I need it.
You want it shredded nice and fine. Pull out any chunks of fat or gross stuff when you can.
Dump it in a big bowl,
and warm up the seasonings. (by the way, sometimes I’ll cook the meat on laundry day, and then do the seasoning and shredding the next day,and freeze it till I’m ready to make the tamales!)
I wish you could smell this through the computer. Oh, it’s heavenly!!! Of course I have a MAJOR love affair with cumin. Oh man. If there were a Scentsy thing for that, I’d be all over it. Then you need to mix up your corn meal, or Maseca, with the seasonings, broth and oil, while you soak your corn husks.
These have to soak for 2 hours (that’s the key number in all of this). I actually put a heavy bowl on top to keep them all in the water, but moved it for the picture. By the way, you can typically find the corn husks and Maseca in the Hispanic section, or in your produce aisle. For locals, I haven’t found corn husks at Associated Food stores, but they’re at Smith’s. I don’t know about Wal-Mart.
Now, you’ve got everything you need to get tamale making! Lay out as many corn husks as you can on your towel on the counter (to soak up the wetness), and spread Maseca on it. I’ve used my fingers (clean, of course!), a butter knife, and an offset spatula. I like the spatula best.
Spread 'em all out, then put your meat on
Then, roll ‘em up nice and tight, and stick them in your tamale steamer, upright.
This is my DI find that I was super excited to find last summer. 75 cents baby! (It didn’t have a lid, but luckily one of my pots had one) I’ve also seen them at Winco during fall/Thanksgiving season, but I didn’t grab one fast enough. But, I made them multiple times before I had it with a lot of pots, metal strainers, and even my rice cooker. The main thing is you can’t have the tamales directly in the water, and they need to be covered, and should be upright (but I couldn’t always do that). Then, you put them in your pot, put the lid on, and steam them for….wait for it….2 hours. I typically get about 60 tamales per batch, so I freeze enough for a meal in Ziploc bags and reheat them by steaming or the microwave when we need a quick meal.
So yummy! Who wants to come over and have some tamales?!