{the dish} tamale tradition - year 02

tamales tradition - year 02: Last year my good girl friends and I embarked on what I hope is a yearly and long lasting tradition of making tamales. Renee, a wonderful friend, generously gave us her mothers tamale recipe and gingerly guided us through our first tamale making experience. Tamale making, like any great tradition, takes time and preparation. But it is the social interaction around the making of the tamales that must make them taste so good. For over four hours we sat and made masa, rolled our tamales, and then cooked them. We laughed and teased about the shape and size of some of our attempts. We delved into stories of past and present and basically had a blast. And to top it off we all walked away with 4 dozen or so delicious tamales.

This weekend we are making tamales again! (My meat is cooking as we speak.) I can't wait. We are going to start at 10 am and hope to be done by 3 pm. I am going to share with you the first part of this tamale making adventure. I will post the rest on dollop later during the weekend. Once we are done I will combine the post so if you want to return you will have a full recipe. Wish me luck!

{also I want to give huge credit and a very special thank you to Delfina Carrizales, Renne's beautiful mother. I hope one day we can make tamales with her!)

tamales by delfina carrizales

step 1 : soak the corn husks : 24 to 48 hours prior to assembly : soak in water making sure you separate the leaves

step 2 : prepare the chili paste : 1 day prior to assembly : in a sauce pan place 4 - 6 ancho chilies (per lb of meat I used 12 - 14) and cover with water and boil. Remove the chilies and reserve the liquid. If you are able peel and seed the chilies. (I buy dried chilies and sometimes it is hard to peel. I just put the whole chili skin and all in). Sautee 1 or 2 onions. Place chilies, onions and handful of garlic, salt and pepper into a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the liquid from the boiling to the paste as needed (1/2 - 1 cup).

step 3 : cooking the meat : 1 day prior to assembly : I use a crockpot and it worked fine. You will be cooking these roasts for a long time 6 hours or so. 3lbs pork shoulder and 3lbs beef rump roast. Place them in the pot with a cup or so of the paste, more garlic, cumin, salt and pepper (you might want to add 1 cup of water or liquid from the chili boiling). Delfina says to use our color sense. "it should be a deep red color and the meat should be red and tasty." Once the meat is done adjust the seasoning. " you might need to add something. your meat must taste the way you want your tamale to taste."

I like my meat with a little more fire. I am going to roast some jalapenos, and some poblanos and probably add some red chili to the meat.

Ok that is it for now. My paste is made. My meat is cooking. We meet on Saturday. Check out dollop to see the rest.

happy tradition!


DesBisoux said...

i have never heard of tamales...what would i do without google!?
happy weekend!

Char said...

oh how i love a good tamale. i've yet to find one in restaurants but have loved ones at a church where a group of little (older) ladies handmade them and sold them for a $1 as a fundraiser.

have fun!

amy and ann said...

I love tamales. we have infact been eating them all week. yum. amy

sue whiteside said...

Wonderful write up today Ann. The chile looks fabulous. Can't wait to eat one of these tamales! Sue

**WE BLOG ARTISTS** said...

Mmmm. YUM, a couple who we were at the cottage with in the Summer made them for 18 adults...it took ALL day and the night before to prep.
I will be back tomorrow!