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Ricetta New Mexican Tamale Tradition

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These tamales are made different than the “norm.” Why we use what we do is beyond me. All I know is they taste great! My mother learned from my father’s mother. She taught me, and I improved the recipe and technique. All measurements are not exact and are to taste. Please feel free to adjust the recipe to make it your own. We generally pass the recipe by gathering those interested in learning how to make the tamales. We have everyone bring a bag of masa flour and a medium bucket of Crisco. We always make the filling (red chile w/shredded pork) and provide the foil. Yes we use foil, NOT corn husks. There has only been one time we were paid for their portion of the meat/chile. We generally just split all tamales made evenly between all parties involved. As you can probably gather this is a great time get together and get to know people. Everyone sits around the table for a couple of hours to make these delicious tamales while talking and fellowshipping. Oh, also, don’t forget to start the first batch steaming while the rest are being made. This provides dinner for everyone and an opportunity to test the product. Lastly, we traditionally only do this once a year in the fall usually right before Thanksgiving. This provides tamales for Thanksgiving, Christmas and the rest of the year (if you can make them last.) Everyone will look forward to this tradition.

Notice I use chile not chili in the spelling. This is because I don’t add but one spice to the chile and do not add any other type of chile to make chili. This is just NM chile. In Texas and other parts, they make chili (aka Wolf Brand) which has lots of spices and different varieties if chilis and ground beef and beans and cheese. In New Mexico we love chile and it is usually either served red, green or Christmas. We do enjoy a bowl chili-beans every now and then with some corn bread, but don’t confuse that with chile.

Tempo Preparazione:
Tempo di cottura:
Porzioni: 72 tamales
Marcatori (Tags):

Ingredienti

  • 2- Pork Loin Roast (not tenderloin) 1 roast of you are not making more than 6 doz. Do trim the fat until after cooking. Some go cheap and use a pork butt or shoulder, but this takes from the texture and flavor. You only do this once per year. Use the loin!
  • 1- yellow onion coarsely chopped
  • 5- minced garlic cloves
  • Salt and Pepper (I use Kosher salt. I think it has a better flavor)
  • 2- packages of dried New Mexico red chile pods (harvested from NM – not Texas or Mexico or California. (Trust me they do not taste the same!)
  • 1 Tbls- Coriander
  • Pork broth (from cooking the pork)
  • 1- garlic clove
  • Salt and pepper (Be very careful! The broth and meat are already salted)
  • 2 sacks - Masa Harina de Maiz (Kroger is the only place I have found this ( I now live in Texas) – otherwise you will need to get it from NM). This is located in the flour isle of the grocery store.
  • Water
  • Crisco
  • and Foil

Istruzioni

  1. The Chile
  2. Part One
  3. • 2- Pork Loin Roast (not tenderloin) 1 roast of you are not making more than 6 doz. Do trim the fat until after cooking. Some go cheap and use a pork butt or shoulder, but this take from the texture and flavor. You only do this once per year. Use the loin!
  4. • 1- yellow onion coarsely chopped
  5. • 5- minced garlic cloves
  6. • Salt and Pepper (I use Kosher salt. I think it has a better flavor)
  7. Add all ingredients to a large stock pot. Fill the pot with water to cover the pork with at least 3 inches of water. This water (broth) will be used later to make the chile, so don’t throw it out when the meat is cooked. Cook on medium for 3-4 hours or until the meat literally falls apart. You will be able to tell this when you take the pork out. It will want to break in half if you grab it from one end. The pork will be done in about 30 mins to an hour, but the longer and lower will make the pork fall apart. There is nothing wrong with taking it out when it is done instead of letting it cook for longer. It will just be harder to shred.
  8. When the pork is finished trim all the fat and shred it completely with a fork or whatever you choose. Cutting it up and/or dicing makes for a bad texture. Shred the pork only. Put all shredded pork back into the pot is was cooked in anticipation of adding the chile to it.
  9. Part Two
  10. • 2- packages ( if you can find both, mix HOT and MILD) of dried New Mexico red chile pods (harvested from NM – not Texas or Mexico or California. Trust me they do not taste the same!)
  11. • 1 Tbls- Coriander
  12. • Pork broth
  13. • 1- garlic clove
  14. • Salt and pepper (Be very careful! The broth and meat are already salted)
  15. (Do not pay attention the directions on the bag. No soaking is necessary! These are unnecessary steps.) Break off all stems and dump out as much of the seeds from the chile pods as possible. If some seeds are left that will not be a problem. They sometimes leave a bitter taste and don't bled well. This is the reason to dump them. Place all pods in a colander and rinse. Make sure to discard the moldy pods.
  16. Fill the blender with pods. Don’t be afraid to cram them in there. Add the coriander and garlic clove once. Fill the blender with broth (including the cooked onion) to about ¾ full otherwise it will overflow when you start the blender. You will have to repeat the process until all the pods are done. Blend until you see no more chile flakes in the blender jar. This will take about 30 seconds to 1 min 30 second depending on the blender you own. Our Vitamix blends in under 30 seconds. You will know when you see it. The chile will be pure red. When the chile is well blended, pour it into the pot with the shredded pork. (Note: when you are blending and the chile appears to be too thick to blend add more broth.) When all chile pods are blended and poured into the pork, rinse the blender jar with pork broth. Use about 2-4 cups of the broth, pulse a couple of times, then add to the chile/pork mixture. Be careful not to add too much. You don’t want the chile filling runny.
  17. Mix all then ingredience together and cook on low for about 30mins to an hour. This is the time to taste and add salt if it needs it. The difference between cooked chile and raw chile can be equated to the taste of cooked tomatoes and raw tomatoes. There is a difference.
  18. The Masa
  19. • 2 sacks - Masa Harina de Maiz (Kroger is the only place I have found this (here in Texas) – otherwise you will need to get it from NM). This is located in the flour isle of the grocery store.
  20. • Water
  21. • Crisco
  22. Pour about half the corn flour into a large mixing bowl. Add about ¾ cup of Crisco. Incorporate these well so there are no more lumps of shortening. You will know it is enough shortening when you squeeze a ball together and it stays together relatively well. If it just falls apart, you need to add about 2-3 tbls more of the shortening. Keep this up until it stays together relatively well when squeezed. It will feel and look kind of like when you squeeze damp sand. When this is all well incorporated, start adding water. I have never measured this, but you will be fine by starting with 3 cups of water. When mixed the masa should feel like really soft Play dough. You should be able to pat onto the foil with ease. This process will need to be repeated until you are out of chile.
  23. The Foil
  24. Cut the foil into about 11”x 6” rectangles. You will need one per tamale. We make about 12 dozen, so you can do the math. Cosco sells some pre-cut foil that we just cut in half. It works just fine.
  25. Put it all Together
  26. Do this in an assembly line. It makes them more consistent. Make sure there is one person to check quality (usually the one adding the chile).
  27. With the foil rectangle laying horizontally or long from left to right, pat the masa onto the foil to about 1/8”-3/16” thick and about 7”-8” in width. Run the masa to the top and bottom edges of the foil. This is not rocket science, but personal taste, so you be the judge.
  28. Add about ½ cup of the chile/meat mixture to the “masa foil” horizontally or long ways. Fold into a tamale like folding a letter. Fold the bottom 1/3 up then top 1/3 down. Fold the foil edges (with no masa) in at least two times.
  29. Steam the tamales laying flat for about 30 mins. Check for doneness. They should not be pasty. If they are not done, steam for about 5-10 mins longer or microwave for about 30 sec to a minute.
  30. Unwrap the tamale on to a plate. Butter each side and add salt. (Yes BUTTER! You must try this at least once as it is the best way to enjoy them.) Another way to enjoy is to put them on a plate covered in the chile used to fill the tamales then throw an over medium egg on top. Enjoy!!
  31. When all is said and done and the tamales have been divided and everyone is gone, you ask now what. I have a vacuum sealing machine. I package 4 tamales to a pack (one for each in my family), vacuum seal then freeze them raw. This way they last longer and they are easy to take out for a snack or side dish. If you do not have a vacuum sealer we have just put them in the grocery bags doubled to prevent them from leaking all over the freezer and put them in the freezer just the same.
  32. We choose not to share our tamales, but feel free to distribute your wealth as you please.
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