Nuevo León Style Tamales

It's Potluck week at IHCC (I Heart Cooking Clubs) and I'm doing tamales.  Way too long since my last go around.  Those were Carnitas with Black Bean Tamales.  These were inspired by some excellent pork - wild boar brought me by a hunter friend.  A whole leg (what ham is made from for you folks not up on "know your cuts of meat".  Does anyone remember where that came from?  The old David Letterman Show, I think.  So you might say it was inspiring a whole cartload of meals.  And this has cleared out the lot.

From Rick Bayless - Nuevo León Style Tamales, which may be found in his excellent and extremely well-researched book,  Authentic Mexican.  I varied mine by using a formula for making the dough without lard.  For which recipe I am sadly without a source.  Someone over at the now defunct "Daring Cooks" event.

Tamales are quite an involved process, which can be broken down into 2 days worth of steps if you like.  Firstly soaking the corn husks.  Next making filling, by shredding the cooked pork and adding various spices, and seasonings.

Then making the dough.  See original recipe for the one with lard.

** For the masa dough without lard
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup canola oil (I used coconut oil)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (omit if already in masa mixture)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder (omit if already in masa mixture)
3 cups masa harina (corn tamale mix)
3 cups sodium chicken broth

Prepare the dough. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and canola oil until it’s white and creamy.

In a separate bowl mix the masa harina, baking powder and salt. Add masa mixture to whipped butter and canola one cup at a time.

Reduce the mixer speed to low, gradually add the chicken broth. Add more or less as necessary until it has the consistency of soft cream cheese.

Then it's a matter of laying out those softened corn husks and putting down a square of corn masa dough.  4X4". or so, adding on your filling, folding things over properly and tying off.  

Finally you steam them for an hour to an hour and a half, after topping with any extra husks. A pretty straight forward arrangement.  While steaming you have plenty of time to throw together a salad and some re-fried beans if you like.

I just served them with a simple salad, and some salsa.  This post will go over to Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking event as well as to our IHCC Potluck.


Beth F said...

I love Rick Bayless, but I don't seem to own this particular cookbook. How ambitious of you to make tamales. I'm always too lazy to go through the two-day process, but you make these look so good. And that lard-less recipe is very tempting.

jama said...

I bow to you, champion tamale maker. Love to eat them, but lack the patience to make my own. I'm impressed --- they look delicious!

Emily said...

A lot of work, and I will really enjoy a tamale or two! Good job!

Tina said...

As BFR said, you are ambitious to take this on. I had no idea tamales were such an involved process. Looks good, when I order them out now I understand how long it takes to make them. Impressive!

Debra Eliotseats said...

You know Bayless is from Oklahoma, right?

How did the tamales taste sans the lard. I have never made them because of the effort. :( Yours look delicious!

Zosia said...

What an involved process but kudos, they look incredibly delicious.

flour.ish.en said...

This is certainly a long and involved process. I'm glad you did it and showed us the process.

Claudia said...

I would compare it to making ravioli. Not too bad if you do it in steps. And Debra, they tasted really good. I used coconut oil instead of the canola in that recipe, but didn't notice any particular oil flavor.

Vicki said...

I love Mexican so I'll be looking for this book.

kitchen flavours said...

All the hard work pays off, your tamales looks delicious!

Kim said...

Wow, your tamales are very impressive! Tamales have been on my to do list for years now and I am always put off by the amount of work and time needed. I have a lot of appreciation for all the work you put into these. They look incredible!