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Texas Tamales Recipe

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This recipe for Texas Tamales, by , is from Cooking Diary of a Texas Cowgirl, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Contributor:  
Contributor:  
Denise Sypesteyn
Added: Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Category:
Category:

Ingredients:  
Ingredients:  
Tamale filling:

1 pork roast (6-8 pounds)
1 large chicken (5 pounds)
6 tbsp chili powder
3 tbsp garlic powder
3 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp black pepper

Masa preparation:
Put the 2 lbs. of Masa in a large bowl and add:
3 tbsp paprika
3 tbsp salt
1 tbsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp chili powder
3 tbsp garlic powder

2 tbsp salt
Corn Oil

Directions:
Directions:
Cut the roast into medium sized chunks. Place in a large pot and cover with water. Slowly boil for about 1 -2 hours, or until it is very tender. Remove meat from pot and set aside, reserving the broth. Shred the meat when it has cooled down, discarding fat.

Cover the chicken with water in a large pot and boil for 2 hours, or until tender. Remove the chicken, let cool and remove from bone, discarding skin. Shred chicken pieces when cooled down, reserving the broth. Combine both meats in very large pan, and mix together.

Mix cup corn oil with seasonings in a small pan and warm on the stove, then pour over the meat and mix with your hands until it is well blended together (about 10 minutes). Refrigerate until ready to use. Refrigerate pork and chicken broth in separate container.

Preparation of Tamales:

Skim the fat off the broth that you saved from the pork and chicken. Warm the broth slightly.


Blend masa and seasonings very well, and add 2 cups of corn oil to mixture. (Cooks in Mexico typically use lard, but corn oil or Crisco is fine.)

Slowly pour in 2 quarts of the warm chicken/pork broth, mixing with your hands to from a doughy consistency. Continue to add the warm broth a little at a time at a time, mixing with your hands as you go, until the masa has a thick, but spreadable consistency.

To prepare the shucks, soak in a sink full of warm water for about 2 hours. Gently separate them when they get soft, being careful to keep in tact, not torn.

Place husks on a towel to drain. Place one shuck at a time in the palm of your hand, then scoop up about cup of the masa dough with a spatula and smear it on the shuck, covering only one side of the shuck. Leave a small part on the other side uncovered, in order to fold and seal. Cover the bottom of the masa-fill section of shuck and leave the top section also uncovered. It will be folded up to form an envelope, open on one end only. Do this in batches of one dozen.

Take 1 tablespoon of meat mixture and lay on the masa, 1 inch from the left edge of husk. Starting with the side with the masa, roll the tamale all the way to the right edge. Now, fold the top of the shuck over like an envelope and lay tamale on the counter with the seam on the under side.

Cook tamales in a large steamer pot, with about 3 pints of water then start stacking the tamales upright until full, with the envelope end of the tamale on the bottom (open end up). The tamales need to packed tight so they remain upright

Cover the pot, and bring the water to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low and cook for at least 2 hours, checking to make sure water doesn'tt steam off. Add water if necessary to maintain proper steam. The tamale should be firm in texture. These can be frozen and ready for use whenever you want.

This is the traditional tamale, but you can get creative and add any number of ingredients for the filling:

Chicken and Green Chile Tamales: Poblanos are mild and flavorful, or Jalapenos if you like spice. Prepare chicken as above, adding roasted chiles, and follow directions for preparing tamales. Serve with a creamy avocado cream sauce.
Sweet Corn Tamales with Barbecue Beef or Pork: Just add your leftover barbecue meat, shredded with a few extra spices and sauce. For the sweet corn tamales, simply add corn, sauted in butter, to the masa. (White corn is the sweetest).
Mexicana Crema is an excellent topping for these tamales.




Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
10
Preparation Time:
Preparation Time:
2 days
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
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One of the oldest Mexican culinary traditions is making tamales during Christmas season. Texans have adopted this old Christmas tradition and, today, many of us believe tamales are as much a sign of the holidays as turkey and dressing. It is truly an art and requires a love of cooking and a little patience. It is not a 30-minute meal, but rather, a weekend project to share with friends and family. Make big batches and freeze them, as its not likely something you will want to undertake every time you get a hankering!

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