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post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I'm planning on doing some smoked pork butt tamales this weekend, and was curious as to what kind of approach others may have used in choice of wood, cooking method, seasoning, etc...?

I was thinking of doing a partial smoke with mesquite for a couple hours at a high temp, then boiling the butt for a couple hours after that. Or vice-versa. I want to get a nice smoke flavor in there, but not enough to overpower the traditional seasonings used in most tamale recipes.

post #2 of 29
I would be careful of mesquite as it is quite strong. Not sure why you would boil as opposed to pulling the butt?

Good luck.
post #3 of 29
I would do a short smoke, say about two or three hours, pan, foil tightly, and continue to cook to at least 195 but don't be afraid to go to 205. Tamales that are too smokey will overcome the spice and tough meat makes for a chewy tamale PDT_Armataz_01_33.gif.
You are gonna need some kind of moisture in there so I would mix the meat with a chili sauce (red or green or whatever) instead of a dry mix.
post #4 of 29
i've made tamales out of a smoked butt and they are great! i use an achiote paste on the butt and smoke like normal then pull it while warm and then cool it. then make them as you normaly would. i did smoke the butt over pecan and i didn't use red or green chili in the tamales....i just put strips of poblano and green chilis with some mexican chz.
post #5 of 29
I would suggest you send me the first dozen... I'll test them for ya icon_mrgreen.gif
post #6 of 29
You mentioned boiling the butt after smoking. Are you planning to use the stock to mix with the mesa?
post #7 of 29
I too read where you said you were going to boil the butt and my first question is:
You will boil the flavor right out of the meat. I would smoke it and foil it and then pull it as normal and you will be just fine. If you were looking for the broth from the boiling liquid just take the liquid out of the foil and add some water to it and then mix it into the mesa for more flavor.
post #8 of 29
I learned this traditional mexican method from a 80 something year old non-english speaking mexican grandmother (and my adopted grandmother!) that was my neighbor for years in CA (you have never been to a block party until you have been to one in a primarily mexican neighborhood...MAN we ate good!!! - almost every weekend and WHAT a party the week of Cinco de Mayo!).

Cut the pork into fist size chunks - put in a pot and add enough water to cover; add 1 whole onion cut up, one whole garlic head cut in half, a handful of oregano, salt and a T or 2 of whole pepper corns. Optionally you can add a whole dried chile for a little kick. bring this to a simmer and let it go until the meat easily pulls apart. take out the meat to cool then shred it. once shredded, add back it a little of the cooking water (TONS of flavor!) into the meat. Ready for tamales or burritos or tacos or ???? you name it!

I make tamales all the time and just use leftover pulled pork BBQ and they are awesome (freeze well too, assuming you have any left!)
post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 
The boiling part was partially due to the recipe I found for making the pork in a chicken broth. I was going to incorporate smoking to give it some smoky flavor. Perhaps I should consider skipping the boiling part altogether, but I planned to use some of the broth to mix with the meat and mesa as mentioned below.

Thanks for the feedback so far!
post #10 of 29
I just started making tamales recently-I used smoked pork from a butt we had for filling in some and shrimp, cheese, peppers and other stuff in others. I steamed the tamales however...
post #11 of 29
Dude don't do it .

This is how you want to do this ~ Take the traditional seasonings and make that a marinade mixed with apple cider . Take the same traditional seasonings dry and use them as your rub . Now you have it marinaded and rubbed . Right before the smoke make the same mix and inject it . Now smoke as normal . You will be a pro . There is no amount of smoke that will overpower traditional seasoning plus as thick as a butt is you almost can not over smoke . Just my .02 censt worth ... plus in Texas I use Mesquite all the time and we all love it BUT we are from Texas and grew up eating Mesquite smoked brisket and everything else smoked with Mesquite . Mesquite is everywhere in Texas and in most cases FREE at all times

good luck
post #12 of 29
So where do you find the mesa is it right next to the butte. Sorry a little southwest humor.PDT_Armataz_01_28.gif
post #13 of 29
Great recipe, we use it all the time. We also add some of the cooking water into the masa for flavor and moisture. Points to you my friend.
post #14 of 29
normally you would boil it and use some of the broth for the masa.......just smoke the butt like normal but use mexican flavors of yer choice (oregano, garlic, onion, cilantro etc) and pull. for the masa use canned chix broth and lard and you will be fine.
post #15 of 29
and here I thought it was next to Tempe. Theres ALOT of ways to make tamales and if your just starting off go with a tried and true,Badfrog's will get you going in the right direction.
post #16 of 29
Oh man that sounds good!
I made pulled pork enchiladas yesterday and they were great.
I gave some to my buddy Baltazar (mexican food guru) for lunch today and he loved them.
Tamales is my next project with a smoked pork butt!
Post some qview!!
post #17 of 29
There's another thing about the tamale.. it's only as good as it's masa. It's like a tortilla, if you have a good tortilla.. then you can wrap up a pile of ************ and it will taste good.
Good masa is made with real lard which is hard to get these days. I get the homemade masa from the local carnecerias. It "almost" eliminates a "bad" tamale.
Personally I don't care for the bbq taste in the tamale since I grew up eating red and green tamales..
post #18 of 29
Snocap lard baby!!
Heart attack city
post #19 of 29
You're dead-on with the lard, know to some as manteca. Here in SoCal is is a familiar product of Farmer John and labeled as both lard and manteca. Bud Light is sold separately. I also prefer them steamed, and I also use the red and green NM chile in the tamales.
post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 
This is all excellent advice for me, a first time tamale maker. I am rethinking my approach to this for the first time, especially the masa recipe. I can get the fresh lard at my local Mexican grocer no problem.
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