Tamales

Tamales
1 ¼ lbs boneless pork loin or shoulder
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 bag chile pasilla or dried California pods
4 oz California chili powder
1/8 cup cooking oil
¾ cup water
½ tablespoon salt
1 bag cornhusks
2 ½ lbs prepared masa (dough)

Tamale Dough
2 cups of Maseca for tamales
2 cups lukewarm broth or water
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2/3 cup lard or vegetable shortening

In a crock pot or large pan cover meat with water. Add fresh garlic and black pepper. Simmer until done, time varies depending on your pot. It can cook longer, just remember to add water when low.

Prepare pods by removing stems and seeds (opt). (Remember the seeds give it heat. If you use mild pods I recommend only de-steming.) Lightly saute pods in cooking oil. They burn easily, so watch closely and the flavor will be fine if they are slightly black.

Place softened pods in blender, add water, and 1 oz chili powder and blend until smooth. While blending, remove pork from pan and place on a large cutting board. Drain water and rinse pot well. Shred pork with two forks. Place shredded pork and blended chili mixture back in the crockpot on warm (low on stove). Cook until ready to roll, stirring occasionally.
Soak cornhusks for a few minutes and rinse well. Quickly sort husks. Set ripped or small husks aside to make ties. Select a size and prepare most of the husks to that size. Add excess to the tie pile.  Tear tie pile into 1/2 inch strips.

Prepare Masa (dough). Combine Maseca, baking powder, remaining chili powder, and salt in a bowl, work broth or water with your fingers to make a soft moist dough. In a small bowl, beat shortening until fluffy, add masa and beat until dough has a spongy texture.

Spread masa evenly over cornhusks, place a tablespoon of meat mixture in the center.
Fold all sides to the center, and tie with small pieces of cornhusks. Place in steamer. Cover and steam for approximately 1 hour.

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