These recipes have been long past down by the women in my family through oral tradition. this is the first time they have been formally written down.
2.5 lb. of pork loin
1 large can of enchilada sauce (28 oz)
1 bag of dry corn husks (50-75 husks)
5 lbs. of masa preparado *
1 cup of Crisco shortening
Pinch of salt
¼ cup of pork broth
Preparing the Filling:
Braise the pork on each side on the Sauté function for about 10 minutes. Then cook the pork loin using the Instapot pressure cook function for 30 minutes. Let it sit and warm for another 30 minutes. Take the pork out and cut/tear it into thin strips. Return the pork to the pot and add the enchilada sauce. Let warm/simmer for 2-3 hours. Then cool and refrigerate till the day of making the tamales. Before rewarming skim clumps of fat from the surface of the filling to mix in with the masa. Separate the pork from the excess broth.
Making the Tamales:
Separate and soak the corn husks in warm water. Once pliable and clean, place them to dry on dishtowels, making sure that they are spread out. Cut shortening into the masa batter. Add salt, warm veggie broth, and pork broth as you kneed the masa dough. To determine when the masa is ready for spreading, roll a pinch of masa into a ball and place it gently into a glass of water. If the masa floats slightly off the bottom of the glass, then the masa is ready for spreading. If not then add a bit more broth and continue kneading.
When spreading the masa: take a spoonful and starting at the bottom corner, spread up towards the small top of the husk. Try to cover most of the husk, thinning gradually as you spread upwards. Fill generously with pork, draining the extra liquid off. Fold the sides of the masa-covered husks horizontally overlapping the meat and each other, and then lengthwise fold in half. Drain off any excess sauce back into the pot with the pork filling.
Place the filled husks upright around a mug or large glass, and cook in a large metal pot that has an inner colander, or use a steaming basket. Add water to reach the bottom edge of the basket or colander. Steam for 45 – 60 minutes. Remove from burner and let rest for 10+ minutes before serving.
*Set aside 1 lb. of the masa pre-mixing for the sweet tamales. Add pineapple juice, brown sugar, raisins, chocolate chips, and shredded coconut to the masa mixture. Put a tablespoon of the masa onto a scrap of the husks, and then wrap and tie it up. The sweet tamales steam in a half-hour or so.
Grandma Mary’s Empanada Dough and Filling Recipe
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup shortening
1 tsp salt
¼ cup of water
2 cups of fresh pumpkin (can substitute can pumpkin)
1 cup sugar (can be ½ cup brown sugar and ½ cup white sugar)
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add in the shortening, and water as needed to moisten. Divide dough into 1 ½ ” balls and roll out on a floured surface. Blend the ingredients for the filling in a separate bowl. Place a generous tablespoon of filling in the center of rolled-out dough. Fold the dough in half and finger pinch the edges together to form a scalloped semi-circle. Bake for 30 minutes at 325.
1/2 package of yeast (approx. 1 tbsp)
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp lard or Crisco Shortening
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups of flour
1/4 tsp salt
Mix dry yeast in lukewarm water in a big bowl, set aside for 10 minutes till it is frothy. Melt lard or shortening in a small pan on stove, set aside till cool. Add sugar, and egg to the yeast and water mixture. Whisk together. Add the cooled melted shortening in. Shift the flour (a cup at a time) in slowly while still stirring the dough. When it is too thick to stir, knead with your hands till dough is smooth. Add salt to second cup of flour. Keep mixing till all the flour is added in. Take dough and slap it against the wooden cutting board. Knead for approximately 5 more minutes, until you can feel the glutenous structure. Put dough into a big bowl to rise, and let it sit for 3 hours. Then pinch sections of bread palm size (2-3”)and put them in rows on a baking sheet, let rest for second rise for 30 minutes under a dry cloth. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the rolls for about 20 minutes, when they are brown on top, they are done. Makes around a dozen rolls.
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