Tuesday, December 24, 2013
It's been a few Christmases without the necessary ingredients being available to make our traditional family treat, but this year, they all fell into my lap. I found a wonderful 8.77lb. pork shoulder roast and at the same store the ojas or corn husks were right there in the produce section. The masa, or corn meal for the dough was also on the shelf, as well as big bags of chile ancho. So I was in business.
When I was a kid it was a family production and we tried to do it all in one day, which made it hectic and exhausting. Now I am starting a few days ahead, cooking the meat first, in that big 4 gallon pressure cooker, and letting it cool, removing it from the bone, and shredding it in the food processor. Hard to believe we used a meat grinder when I was a kid. eek! Those memories of all-day-cranking that metal grinder have been well repressed.
The next day the dried chilis were deseeded and boiled until plump and then whirled in the food processor to make the seasoning paste for the meat.
The third day I made the masa using the powdered mix, and the broth and manteca (LARD!) from the pork roast. The chili paste and meat were mixed together and adjusted for taste and then the corn leaves were soaked in hot water in the kitchen sink to soften them. Dave was enlisted to be part of a mini-assembly line on the dining room table.
To make the tamales I used two gallon zip lock bags, one to hold to the meat and the other to hold the masa. Cutting a hole in the corner, we squeezed out an equal amount of the ingredients onto a leaf, folding it to cover the filling and placing them all on baking sheet until a sufficient amount was accumulated to cook. The first batch was made smaller, diet size, or as Dave called them, four for a dollar size, and by the third batch more masa was mixed and we made Chubbies, which are heavy on the masa and lighter on the meat. We always have leftover meat, even though I removed four pounds earlier (before the ancho was added) and made green chili for the freezer. There is still at least a pound of seasoned meat to use up in tacos or whatever now.
When the first batch was ready (15 minutes at 15lbs of pressure) we ate our fill with some great Winter Lager beer from Sam Adams. This knocked Dave out and he and the pups rested on the couch while I continued to get the tamales assembled and cooked.
In all we made about 75-100 tamales. I'll be sharing...C'mon over.
It was a cuddly day for the pups and us. I had both of them on my lap all evening, which is 50lbs of dog. Doncha love it?
So now we are full and satisfied and it feels like Christmas has arrived.
Merry Christmas wishes to you and your family and I'll see you back here on the 26th with a new quilt.
at 8:16 AM