This recipe is for those who are brave and love tamales. Tamales are as different as cooks.


Preparing the corn shucks: Cut off each end of the shuck; open and clean out corn silk. Soak in boiling water 1 hour; separate and size them --shucks should be 6 or 7 inches long and 3 to 4 inches wide.

Preparing the meat: Pork - Boston butt or other pork
Pork fat
Garlic - 6 cloves or more
Boil the meat in enough water to cover until meat is tender. Save the stock. (Taste the water to be sure the salt is adequate. Experienced cooks say this is the critical time to get tasty meat.)

Hand chop the meat and fat in very small pieces (-inch cubes). Add chile paste (recipe in this publication) to get desired color. Add hot pepper to your taste. Add enough meat stock to mix but do not make it juicy.

Preparing the masa or dough: 3 cups masa harina
1 cup shortening
Meat stock (hot)
Seasonings are optional; you may add garlic and chile powder for more flavor. Mix these ingredients well. Beat well. (To test masa, put a small ball of masa mixture in a cup of cold water. The masa will be right when it floats to the top. If it does not float, beat again adding more meat stock.)

To cook tamales: Place a heat-resistant small bowl upside down in bottom of a large kettle. Kettle must have lid. Stand folded or rolled tamales (with folded end down) up against the bowl in the kettle. Several layers of tamales may be cooked in the same kettle. Be sure folded end of the tamales is down, or the filling will come out in cooking process.

Pour hot water into kettle and steam tamales 1 hour.