Well I smoked that butt the other day and was greedy with the pulled pork just so I could make tamales. These thing are delicious. Never cared much for them till I moved to NM, Texas, and traveled all over northern Mexico. Before then the extent of my tamale knowledge came out of an El Paso Tamale can...... LOL I always try to make broths and freeze them when possible, I started that with shrimps shells and now do chicken, smoked turkey, beef, heck I have pork broth. I can not say enough how these will make all the difference in cooking.
When in West Texas I made a point to make a monthly sales call on Pennzoil Sulphur. They didn't buy much at all for sulphur injection but the very best tamales in the world came out a little old ladies place there.....LOL I just fell in love with them. So a while back I tried making my own, she's long passed away and would be an extremely long drive to get to her place. I was amazed how well they came out, course it could have been the lack of any at all in years too. AND they froze really well.
Heres how I make them, I am sure they are other ways, probably easier and better but this is what I came up with. The little old Mexican ladies would throw a fit at all maza I use, but I like it!
I figure there are three parts, the maza, the filling, and the assembly.
Maza, broth, melted lard, salt, pepper, and baking powder, I wonder where the lard got off too.....Hmmmm......
Set the corn husks in hot water to soak, BTW if you buy the cheap bags of husks you'll spend that money difference in the cussin tip jar.
You need a tamale pan to steam in, where you can steam without setting in the water. I am sure there were plenty of tamale pans around before Case started building Mini's. LOL I have no idea where my pot is so using my common sense I made one.
Yes, that is the pressure cooker, I set 3 custard cups inverted on the bottom and now returning the canning rack
Makes a smaller than normal tamale pot with a deeper area for water so you need not watch it so close. Because........ you do NOT want it to go dry while steaming the tamales.
Next is the filling. (There is that lard!) I use lard for pie crust, White beans, rolls, etc....
The small bag on top of pulled pork was all I used, minced garlic, minced onion, cumin, and chili's (Oh and some of JJ's Finishing sauce too!)
We have the maza, hot broth with melted lard, into the Maza with salt, pepper and baking powder. Combined to form an almost wet mixture. Some folks I understand whip or cream it during mixing. I didn't. Not the water in the mixing bowl, it has 2 purposes. first to constantly adjust the mixture due to the hydration of the corn, second it keeps the maza mixture to sticking to your hands. I figured out that my hands were the best way to do it.
Next we have the filling, I used some lard in the skillet, caramelized some minced onions and garlic, and added the cumin and chili till I liked the taste then a bit of JJ's to put it over the top.
Take a corn shuck, using my hands I form the maza and slap it on the husk, put some meat in the middle and like using a piece of plastic wrap vice a corn hunk, wrap like making tubes of compound butter or cookie dough,tighten the inside up and roll and fold.
Then fill the pot and start steaming low and slow for a couple a hours. Make sure that they are loose enough to have the room to grow as they cook. Plus ya want that steam to get around them.
They are now steaming, will come back when they are done.