Difficulty: Medium - experience needed
4 to 5 lbs boneless pork shoulder
32 to 48oz of chicken broth
1 onion quartered
½ cup fresh chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon cumin
2 bay leaves
MASA DE HARINA FOR TAMALES
6 cups packaged Masa de Harina for Tamales
4 cups lukewarm broth (from pork Carnitas)
2 tsp baking powder
1 ½ cup Lard
FILLING FOR TAMALES
1 large package corn husks
20 dried red Poblano chile peppers
½ cup ground cumin
½ cup pepper
8 cloves garlic, peeled
½ cup salt
PORK CARNITAS Chop the cilantro and quarter the onion. In a large stock pot add the pork, onion, cilantro, cumin and chicken broth; turn to medium-high heat. If necessary, add more chicken broth so that the meat is covered. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 5-6 hours or until the meat is very soft and pulls apart easily. Remove the meat from pot. Place in large bowl, add salt and shred, reserving broth for the masa and the filling.
MASA DE HARINA FOR TAMALES Combine masa for tamales and baking powder in large mixing bowl. Mix in broth. Beat shortening in separate bowl with electric mixer until slightly fluffy. Add to masa mixture and beat until it develops a somewhat spongy texture.
FILLING FOR TAMALES Remove the skin, seeds (using gloves so you don't burn your skin!) and stems from chilies. Boil in a pan with one cup water for about five minutes. Transfer chilies to food processor and add cumin, pepper, garlic and enough of the chile broth to make a paste when all spices are blended together strain mixture. Add spice paste to shredded pork and mix thoroughly. Add as much of the remaining broth as necessary to make a delicately moist, but not watery filling.
MAKING THE TAMALES Soak your corn husks for 2 to 3 hours then lay a corn husk on your counter and pat dry with paper towel. Spread masa on it and flatten into a square shape. Put a heaping spoonful of filling inside.
Pick up the two long sides of the husk, fold them over into the middle and enclose. Roll the flaps of the husk in the same direction around the tamale. Fold the small, pointy bottom end up to close off the bottom.
These can keep in the refrigerator for a few days before being steamed. To steam, line a steaming pan (Mexican or vegetable steamer) with extra corn husks. Put about two inches of water in the bottom of the pan. Gently place tamales inside and cover pan. Simmer until steaming hot-about an hour. (Short cut: You can also microwave them, a few at a time for about three minutes.)