Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday's Meal

Growing up in Texas it is traditional to have tamales during the holiday season. I've been jonesing for some real Texas flavor and I came across the recipe to make my own delicious tamales. It's a bit of work, but the results are so worth the effort.

The meat filling
1 (4 pound) chuck roast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/4 cups diced green chile pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 (small bottle hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Tamale Dough
2 cups masa harina
1 (10.5 ounce) can beef broth
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup lard
1 (8 ounce) package dried corn husks

Trim the roast of any excess fat, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer it to a slow cooker, and sprinkle the onion over meat. Season with chile peppers, chili powder, cayenne pepper, hot pepper sauce, and garlic powder. Add enough water to cover 1/3 of the roast. Cover, and cook on High for 6 hours, checking to make sure there is always at least a small amount of liquid in the bottom. Reduce heat to Low, and continue cooking for 2 to 4 hours, or until meat is totally tender and falls apart.
About 30 minutes before your meat is done soak the corn husks in a bowl of warm water. In a large bowl, beat the lard with a tablespoon of the broth until fluffy. Combine the masa harina, baking powder and salt; stir into the lard mixture, adding more broth as necessary to form a spongy dough. Drain the water off the corn husks and then spread the dough out over the corn husks to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. Place one tablespoon of the meat filling into the center. Place tamales in a steamer basket. Steam over boiling water for approximately one hour, until masa is firm and holds its shape. Make sure steamer does not run out of water.