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Makes 40 to 50 tamales
For the pork filling:
- 3 pounds pork butt, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1/2 white onion
- 6 cups water, to cover pork and make broth
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 tablespoon ground pepper
- 1 1/2 ounces ancho chile
- 40 to 50 corn husks
- Place the pork pieces in a large pot with the onion half. Add water to cover the pork along with 1 tablespoon of the kosher salt and the pepper.
- Bring the water a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 3 hours. Remove pork from water and shred. Reserve 4 cups of the pork broth for making the masa.
- While pork is simmering, put the ancho chile in small pot with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from water, deseed, and remove stem. Blend it in a blender with 1/4 cup of new water until it is completely puréed.
- In a large pot, add puréed ancho chile, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 cup of pork broth, and shredded pork. Mix until combined. Heat for a few minutes to combine the flavors. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Soak corn husks in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes while you make the masa.
For the masa:
- 1 1/3 cups refined pork lard
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 4 cups instant masa
- 4 cups reserved pork broth, from above
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the lard with baking powder until fluffy, at least 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a large bowl and add masa, 3 1/2 cups of the reserved broth, and salt. Mix by hand until a sticky dough forms. (Add the remaining 1/2 cup, little by little, if the dough is too dry.)
- Turn the stand mixer back on low speed (with nothing in the bowl) and slowly add small amounts of the hand-mixed dough back in. You'll mix for two to three minutes total, until a paste-like consistency is formed.
- Remove the corn husks from the water and wring them dry. Lay them on a hand towel and sort the husks: Pick out those of similar size husks for consistent tamales (you'll use the others to tie the tamales and to line the steamer basket).
- Place the husk in the palm of your hand and using a spoon, spread the masa paste on the half of the husk that is laying in your hand in a very thin layer. Add three to four tablespoons of pork filling and fold up the husk. Using small pieces of husk, make a tie around to hold the husk closed.
- Add 4 cups of water to the bottom of a large steamer. Line the bottom of the steamer with small and broken pieces of the husks, then begin layering the tamales in.
- Once all the tamales are in, use a plastic grocery shopping bag to cover all the tamales. Cover with a dish towel, then cover the pot with the lid.
- Steam for one hour and then turn off the heat. Allow the tamales to sit in the steamer for an additional hour after the heat is turned off.
- Serve with refried beans and Janet's Salsa Verde. https://food52.com/recipes/69594-janet-s-salsa-verde
- This recipe is a Community Pick!