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Tamales - Carne de Puerco Cocido

recipe at a glance
ready in: over 5 hrs
serves/makes:   36

recipe id: 30575
cook method: stovetop

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5 pounds lean pork butt
6 cloves garlic, halved crosswise
3 tablespoons shortening
3 tablespoons flour
5 cups red chili sauce
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 large bay leaves
salt, to taste


36 dried red chilies
1 teaspoon sugar
4 cloves garlic
3 quarts beef stock
4 tablespoons shortening
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons oregano
salt and pepper, to taste


1 1/2 pound corn husks
4 1/2 cups masa harina, packed
3/4 pound shortening
1 1/2 cup red chili sauce
salt, to taste


MEAT: Prepare meat a day in advance.

Place pork butt in a large Dutch oven and add 3 cloves garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves and salt. Add enough cold water to cover by at least 3 inches. Over high heat, bring to a boil, reduce heat, partially cover and let simmer for 2 hours, skimming any scum/froth during the first 15-20 minutes. Remove pork from stock and let cool to room temperature. Strain and degrease stock. When meat is cool enough to handle pull into fine shreds. Place meat into reserved stock and refrigerate overnight.

In a large pot, over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons shortening and saute 3 cloves garlic until slightly browned. Remove garlic and discard. Add 2 tablespoons garlic and stir until lightly browned.

Add 3 cups red chili sauce and 2-3 cups reserved pork stock. Sauce should be the consistency of a medium spaghetti sauce. Simmer 10-15 minutes. Remove 2 cups sauce and set aside. Add shredded meat to sauce and simmer an additional 15-20 minutes. Taste for seasoning and set aside to cool.

CHILI SAUCE: Place chilies in a bowl and cover with warm water. Allow to soak until softened. When softened, split chilies open and remove seeds and veins and discard. (Leaving some seeds and veins will make for a hotter sauce) Place chilies, oregano, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper in a food processor, along with 1 cup stock and process until smooth.

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, melt shortening and add flour, stirring constantly until flour is golden. Add pepper puree, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside and keep warm.

TAMALE WRAPPERS: Separate corn husks and soak in warm water at least 30 minutes, preferably overnight. Wash each husk thoroughly under running water, making sure to remove all silk. Place on newspaper and drain well.

Place shortening in a large bowl and beat until fluffy. Add masa harina a handful at a time, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. If mixture becomes to stiff add some stock. When masa harina is incorporated add salt and red chili sauce for color. Mixture should be the consistency of butter cream frosting for good spreadability.

ASSEMBLY: Pat drained corn husks dry and stack in an overlapping fashion. Spread about 2 tablespoons masa mixture over bottom half of each husk within 1/2 inch from sides and 1/4 inch from bottom. Top with a generous tablespoon of meat mixture then fold in half pressing lightly to seal. Continue until all ingredients have been used.

At this point tamales may be either steamed and served or they may be place in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove from freezer, place into freezer bags or foil, usually 1 dozen per package, and place back into freezer.

Do not thaw frozen tamales before steaming.

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327 calories, 19 grams fat, 24 grams carbohydrates, 16 grams protein per serving.
Show full nutritional data (including Weight Watcher's Points ®, cholesterol, sodium, vitamins, and diabetic exchanges)

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