9 dried California peppers
3 dried New Mexico Peppers
1 1/4 quarts water
3 Tablespoons Flour
3 Tablespoons Oil
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon oregano
salt to taste
1 ¾ cups Crisco or Lard
6 lbs unprepared masa
1 cup juice from cooked meats OR chile water
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 lbs corn husks
- To make the chile sauce: de-seed the dried chiles, then boil them in the water for 15-20 minutes until very soft.
- Working a small batch at a time, blitz the chiles in a blender with some of the cooking liquid, and the transfer to a strainer, and push through the mesh with a wooden spoon. Return any amount left in the strainer to the blender, then repeat process until you’ve used up all the chiles and cooking water. You will have a small amount of mixture at the end that will not work through the strainer, and this can be discarded.
- Heat oil in a large pan, then fry garlic cloves until brown. Then remove and discard.
- Add the flour to the oil ,stirring quickly stirring to avoid burning. Gradually add the chili mixture, salt, oregano and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Once cooled, add to shredded meat and combine. Your tamale filing is now done!
- To make the masa: using an electric hand or stand mixer, whip the Crisco or lard to the consistency of whipped cream.
- You may need to do this next step batches at a time depending on how large your bowl is. Once whipped, mix in the masa, salt and baking powder.
- Beat again until light and fluffy. You can test when this is ready by dropping a small amount into a cup of water. When it floats, it’s ready! If your masa is still too dry to spread easily, just add a little more water.
- To make Tamal: Rinse and soften the corn husks using a warm water bath. Remove all the silk and other dust, rinse and drain dry.
- Take a clean corn husk and lay it flat with the smooth side facing up. (There are two sides to a husk, one has deeper ‘veins’, the other has a smoother feel).
- Spread the masa all thinly over the wider part of the husk, covering 2/3 of the husk in total (ie, leaving narrow end bare).
- Spoon two tablespoons of filling into the centre, and fold the corn husk over the filling, then tuck under the loose narrow ends of the husk to make a jacket and prevent leakage.
- Steam the tamales over boiling water for 1 hour if fresh and 2 hours if tamales are frozen.