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Homemade Pork Tamales


Homemade Pork Tamales

My Homemade Pork Tamales are simply to die for. This is one of those recipes that requires a lot of love, and that’s why they are only for special occasions. I serve my pork tamales with a side of sweet Dragon Fruit Salsa.

2019-09-23 08.53.06



Homemade Pork Tamales

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Yields: 8 to 10 servings
Equipment: Roasting pan with a rack, large mixing bowl, medium-size mixing bowl, food processor, stand mixer with the paddle attachment, 10-inch sauté pan, Quick-Pot, large measuring cup, small bowl, 6-quart saucepot, heavy plate

1 2-pound pork butt
2 cups of unsalted chicken broth

Ingredients For Sofrito:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 medium-size onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon of garlic, minced (2 cloves)
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced (substitute jalapeno)
1 15-ounce can of  fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Ingredients For Spice Rub:
2 tablespoons of ground cumin
2 tablespoons of ground coriander
2 tablespoons of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of dried Mexican oregano (substitute dried oregano)
2 tablespoons of smoked paprika
1 tablespoon of ancho chili powder
2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup of olive oil

Ingredients For Masa:
4 1/2 cups of Masa Harina, (Maseca)
3 3/4 cups mixture of the cooled cooking liquid and room temperature unsalted chicken broth (substitute all cold water)
1 1/2 cups of cold lard or vegetable shortening
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt

You Will Also Need:
14 to 18 corn husks, available in Hispanic or Ethnic food section of the grocery store
a small bowl of warm water to dip your fingers in when assembling tamales

Ingredients For Dragon Fruit Salsa:
2 dragon fruit, peeled and diced
1 cup of pineapple chunks, drained
1/2 red onion, small dice
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced (substitute jalapeno pepper)
3 limes, 1 juiced, 2 cut into wedges
1 tablespoon of fresh cilantro, finely chopped, extra for garnish
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper to taste

Prior To Starting:
Soak the corn husks in warm water for at least 1 hour. Add them to a large saucepot then cover with warm water. Weigh the husks down using an inverted heavy plate.

Directions For Pulled Pork:
Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
First place all the spices plus the Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, from the spice rub ingredient’s list, into a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, mix together to form a paste. Using your hands, rub the entire pork butt with the rub and place onto the rack of a roasting pan. Pour the chicken broth into the bottom of the pan. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes.

Directions For Sofrito:
In the meantime in a small sauté pan over medium heat add olive oil, diced bell peppers, onions, garlic, Fresno chili, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Cook until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the sofrito to a food processor fitting with a metal blade. Add the fire-roasted tomatoes, pulse until the mixture is puréed. Set aside.

Adjust the oven temperature to 350-degrees F.
Cook the pork for another 40 to 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 155-degrees. Transfer the pork to a large plate, cover with foil, allow the pork to rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Using two forks, shred the pork, discard and large fatty pieces. Transfer the shredded pork to a large mixing bowl. Add the prepared sofrito, toss so that all the pork is coated. Transfer all of the cooking liquid to a large measuring cup to cool.

Directions For Masa:
In a large mixing bowl combine Masa Harina and enough unsalted chicken broth to the cooled cooking liquid to total 3 3/4 cups. Mix with your hands until ingredients are evenly incorporated and the dough is moist throughout. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine lard or shortenings and salt in the bowl. Beat on high speed until shiny and white in color, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-high and add dough in handfuls, allowing the dough to mix in before adding more until all the dough has been added. Continue beating for about 10 minutes, scraping at least once halfway through, until a smooth soft dough has formed.

Cover and refrigerate for a least 1 hour.

Note: Take an extra corn husk and shred it into long ribbon-like strips. Use these corn husk ribbon-like strips to tie the tamales to hold that folded tip in place.
Note: Masa dough can be stored up to 2 days before using.
Note: Keep in mind as you assemble the tamales that they will need to fit in you Quick Pot vertically on the steamer rack. The length of each tamale should be no longer than about 6 inches.

Directions For Making Tamales:
Start by placing a wet corn husk on your flat work surface so that the pointy end is facing you. Place a good helping of masa dough on the corn husk. Wet your fingers to prevent sticking and spread the masa dough into a thin layer in the shape of a square. the bottom of the masa dough square needs to be 3 to 4 inches from the bottom of the point and the dough to extend leaving a 1-inch border on both sides and stop short by 1 inch from the top of the masa dough square.

Spoon the pork filling in a vertical line down the center of the masa dough square. You need to leave a little room at the top and bottom so you can seal the tamale.

Hold onto the corn husk, grab the right and left sides bringing them together until the sides meet. Once the edges of the masa are touching, pull the left side of the corn husk away and wrap the right side over. then take that left side and wrap it over the right side. With the seam side down and the point still facing you, fold the bottom tip up towards the seam.

Take one of the shredded corn husk ribbons and use it to tie the tamales to hold that folded tip in place.

Place the steamer rack into the Quick Pot (or Instant Pot). Fill the base of the pot with water, enough so the water reaches the bottom of the rack, at least 1 cup, maybe more if the room in the bottom will allow.

Place the tamales in the Quick Pot vertically, open side up. They may require you to push down on them a bit to get the lid to fit correctly. Close the lid and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes.

Directions For Dragon Fruit Salsa:
In a mixing bowl add diced dragon fruit, pineapple chunks, Fresno chili, red onion, lime juice, chopped cilantro, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve hot. These are my Homemade Pork Tamales with a side of Dragon Fruit Salsa. 

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