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Tamales

Masa Dough
Red Chile Puree
1 package (8 oz) dried corn husks)
Carnitas

Prepare Masa Dough; set aside. Prepare Red Chile Puree; cover and
refrigerate.

Sort through dried corn hustks, discarding silk and other extraneous
material. In a large roasting pan, cover husks with warm water
and let stand until pliable (at least 20 minutes) or until next
day. Drain and pat dry when ready to use.

Prepare Carnitas.

For each tamale, select a wide, pliable husk. Lay flat, with tip
pointing away from you. Evenly spread 2 tablespoon of the masa
down center of husk, forming a rectangle taht's flush with one side
of husk, an inch from opposite side, an inch from bottom, and 3
inches from tip. If husk is not wide enough, use some of the masa
to paste another husk onto back of first.

Spoon 2 rounded tablespoons of the filling in the center of masa.
To enclose filling, fold husk so masa edges meet, wrapping plain
part of husk around outside of tamale. Fold bottom end of husk
over body of tamale, then fold in tip. Place seam side down on a
tray; cover with damp paper towel until all are prepared.

To steam, place a rack in a 12 to 14 quart pan and pour in boiling
water to a depth of an inch. (Water should not reach tamales; if
rack is too low, rest it on 2 small cans.) Stack tamales in steamer,
arranging loosely so steam can circulate. Bring to a boil; cover
and adjust heat to keep water at a steady boil. Continue to cook,
adding boiling water to maintain water level, until masa is firm
and does not stick to husk; open one from center of pan to test
(about 1 hour).

Serve tamales hot or keep warm in steamer over low heat for up to
an hour. To serve, peel off husks and offer salsa to spoon on
individual servings. Makes about 40 to 50 tamales.


Masa Dough

Whip 1 1/3 cups lard, butter, margarine, or solid shortening until
fluffy. Blend in 4 cups masa flour, 2 teaspoons salt and 2 2/3
cups warm water, or broth. Mix until dough holds together well.


Red Chile Puree

About 9 (3 oz) dried New Mex chiles
2 cups water
1 small onion, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic

Arrange the chiles on a large baking sheet and cook in a 300F oven until
chiles smell toasted (about 4 minutes). Let cool slightly. Discard stems
and seeds.

In a saucepan, combine chiles, water, onion and garlic; cover and simmer
until chiles are very soft (about 30 minutes). Remove from heat and let
cool slightly.

In a blender of food processor, whirl chile mixture until smooth; rub
puree through a fine strainer and discard residue. Makes about 2 cups.


Carnitas

4 to 5 pound pork shoulder or butt
4 cups chicken broth
1 large onion, quartered
1 tablespoon each coriander seeds and cumin seeds
1 teaspoon dry oregano leaves
3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 bay leaves

Place pork, broth, onion, coriander, cumin, oregano, chiles and
bay leaves in a saucepan. Add enough water to just cover meat.
Cover pan and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until meat
pulls apart easily with fork (about 3 to 4 hours).

Lift out meat. Discard fat. Place pork in a large roasting pan
and bake, uncovered, in a 450F oven until sizzling and browned
(about 20 minutes). Pull off chunks of meat and shred with 2 forks,
discarding fat.

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