Friday, December 19, 2008


This makes 12 good-sized tamales . . .

The pork: I got a 1-kg pork roast, and put it into the crockpot with about a pint of water and half an onion, and set it on high for the day. You need to cook it until it shreds easily. When it's done, put the meat onto a big platter, and pour the liquid into a jar or pint measuring container; refrigerate it so that you can get the fat off the top later. Meantime, remove all fat from the cooked pork, and using two forks, pull/shred it well. Add 2 tsp chili paste (the kind in a tube), a tsp of onion powder, 4 cloves garlic (crushed), 1 tsp salt, 1 Tbsp cumin, and 1 tsp pepper. Mix into the meat by hand thoroughly, then set aside.

The corn-meal mixture: I did this in my Cuisinart. Put everything in, then mix well: about 1 and 1/4 cups cornmeal (I could only find yellow, but I'd like to use white if I can find it next time), 1/4 cup of your favourite GF flour, 1 tsp salt, 4 Tbsp oil (I use sunflower, and don't skimp on it or they'll be dry), 2 tsp cumin, 1-2 tsp chili paste from a tube (again), 2 cloves crushed garlic, and enough broth (fat skimmed off the top) to make it thick. Oh, when you take the top off that Cuisinart and breathe in that corn aroma (I used organic cornmeal), it's just too good to believe. (At this point you adjust it, either adding more cornmeal or more broth to thicken it or thin it --as the method above says, it should be like thick peanut butter.)

Putting it all together: Take the 12 husks you've soaked for 3-4 hours, and drain them, shaking off any excess water. Spread them across the counter, putting cornmeal on each (dividing it evenly). Spread it as in the photos in the above website, then add the pork mixture as they do, then roll up the tamales and place into a steamer. I think the steaming time varies depending on the number of tamales you put into a steamer. I did my dozen loosely into a colander, at an angle (not straight up), and so I had bits of space between them, and they steamed up fast. The website said 2 hours, but that was for a crammed steamer-full; mine only took about half an hour.

Next time . . . I'd spread my corn thinner, maybe spice them more heavily, and try to find white cornmeal. And I'd maybe try some chicken ones, or beef . . . I'd also love to know how to make the green chili ones I used to buy in NM.

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