Last year I had a full blown Tamalada with a kitchen full of folks all assembling tamales, with a wide variety of fillings. This year, it was a much smaller affair, mostly just my friend Susan, then later in the day Kathryn.
Susan had endeavored to locate non-GMO corn for the masa, and found Masa Harina at Wheatsville, made by Bob’s Red Mill. She made two different masas, (something I’ve yet to make), one using lard from Richardson Farms, and one using non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening. She added ground annatto seeds to the vegetarian version, for flavor, color and so that we could keep them apart.
For my fillings, I cubed a Richardson Farms Pork roast, seared it, and cooked it in the oven with onions and garlic for two and a half hours until it was fork tender.
I then chopped three half pint jars of the chipotle in adobo that I had canned at Springdale Farm a couple months ago. https://austinurbangardens.wordpress.com/2011/08/28/canning-on-the-farm-chipotles-in-adobo-at-springdale-farm/
I mixed it into the pork and the result was fabulous, slightly sweet, hot tender pork with loads of flavor.
For my second filling, I cubed a Dewberry Hills Farm chicken mixed in some Salsa Verde, which I had canned while tomatillos were in season.
Once we got all set up, with our soaked husks, fillings and bowls of masa, we began assembling the tamales. Susan’s masa was perfect, easy to spread and still light and fluffy like frosting.
We made ties for the tamales by tearing strips off of the husks, and tied them on the bottom only. Once we had enough to fill my double steamer, we did so, in two layers, and continued assembling while the first batches steamed, which took longer than the second round, which we did in only a single layer.
The end result of a long day of assembling tamales, was around 7 dozen, including the chipotle pork, tomatillo chicken, and Susan’s vegetarian. It was a great way to spend a day with friends, with a delicious result. And, my freezer is full of tamales!
Next year, I will learn to make the masa, so I can know the whole process.