3-4Chipotle Chiles in Adobo – minced, and combined with 2 TBS of the Adobo Sauce
Pinch of Sugar
Salt and Pepper – To taste
8ozQueso Fresco – Crumbled(plus more for serving, optional)
Tomatillo Grilled Green Chile Pepper Sauce – for serving
Fresh Cilantro – chopped, for garnish and serving (optional)
In a Large plastic liquid measuring cup, heat 1 Cup of Beef Stock in the microwave to 150 degrees F. – anywhere between 140-160 degrees and you will be fine… just aim for 150 degrees. About 1 ½-2 minutes in your microwave).
Add the Masa Harina to the (1 cup) HOT Beef Stock; stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for 45 minutes (alternatively you can refrigerate it, covered, overnight).
Place the Corn Husks in a large bowl and cover with HOT water. Place a large plate or bowl on top of husks to keep them submerged. Soak Husks for 1-2 hours.
While the Husks are soaking, prepare the Masa.
Affix a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
Place the Shortening (or lard) in the bowl and beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
Add Salt and Baking Powder to bowl, beat for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
With mixer running, you are going to add HALF of the Masa mixture, in golf ball sized portions, to the bowl. Beat 10-15 seconds between each addition.
Now with HALF of the masa mixture still remaining you are going to start alternating the Masa with the Beef Broth, until all of the Masa is added to the bowl, along with a total of 3/4 cup Beef Broth. If the mixture seems too dry add additional broth, 1 TBS at a time.
Perform the ‘Masa Test’ to see if it is ready to be used. Rip off a small (1/2 tsp) portion of the Masa, form it into a ball, and drop it into a bowl of cold water. Does it float? Because it should! If it did, congrats… let’s move on to the next step!! If it did not, continue to beat the masa mixture for an additional 2 minutes. Test again. Continue this process until your masa ball floats.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine Pulled Pork, Chipotle Peppers, Adobo Sauce, Cumin, Sugar, and Salt/Pepper to taste.
With a clean soft kitchen towel or paper towel, pat the soaked Corn Husk dry. Place dried Corn husk, smooth side up, on a clean work surface.
Place about 1/4th of a Cup prepared Masa in the widest part of the center of the Husk. Use your fingers, or a spatula, to spread the masa out evenly over the husk (about an 1/8th’’ thick), leaving a ½’’ boarder at the sides and top and 2’’ boarder at the bottom.
Place 2 TBS of the Pork Filling in the center of the Masa. Sprinkle about 1 TBS Queso Fresco Cheese over top of Pork.
Fold the Husk in half, horizontally (left and right side), so the edges of the husk meet. Peel the husk back so the filling is encased in the masa and in the center of the corn husk.
Fold in Left and Right side (like folding a business letter). Fold the bottom of the corn husk up to seal, leaving top open. Place seam side down a tray, baking sheet, or work surface as you continue forming and folding the remaining tamales.
**Optional** if you want to make the Tamales “Pretty”, cut thin strips (vertically) from a couple corn husks and wrap/tie around the tamale.
Add remaining Broth and enough water to a large pot, with steamer insert, to reach ½’’ below insert. Bring to a boil over high heat.
Place a few corn husks into the bottom of the steamer insert.
Arrange Tamales on top, vertically (standing up), into the insert. *if you do not have enough tamales to keep them all standing up in place, leaning on each other, ball up a couple pieces of aluminum foil and place in the bottom of the insert to help them stand up.
Place insert with Tamales into the pot and cover the tops with a few morn corn husks. Cover the pot with a lid.
Steam for 1 hour 15 minutes- 1 hour 30 minutes…CHECKING THE WATER LEVEL frequently and adding more water as necessary.
After 1 hour and 15 minutes, check Tamales for doneness. Remove one tamale from the pot, are replace lid on pot…continuing to cook the rest as you check.
Allow removed tamale to cool for 2 minutes. Unwrap, carefully (don’t burn yourself on the steam that will be released). The Tamales are ready to be devoured when the masa is set and easily pulls away from the corn husk.
If “tester” tamale looks good, remove steamer basket from pot. Allow tamales to sit and rest for 2-5 minutes, remove individually from the steamer basket. Serve with Tomatillo Grilled Chile Salsa and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and crumbled queso fresco cheese.
Serve with Refried Beans, Mexican Rice, and/or Tortilla Chips. I also like mine with a small dollop of Sour Cream and a drizzle of Tabasco brand Habernero Hot sauce. Nom Nom Nommmmm!