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Tamales - Carne de Puerco Cocido

5 pounds lean pork butt
6 cloves garlic, halved crosswise
3 tablespoons shortening
3 tablespoons flour
5 cups red chili sauce
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 large bay leaves
salt, to taste

3 dozen dried red chilies
1 teaspoon sugar
4 cloves garlic
3 quarts beef stock
4 tablespoons shortening
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons oregano
salt and pepper, to taste

1 1/2 pounds corn husks
4 1/2 cups masa harina, packed
3/4 pound shortening
1 1/2 cups red chili sauce
salt, to taste

Prepare meat a day in advance.

Place pork butt in a large Dutch oven and add 3 cloves garlic,
peppercorns, bay leaves and salt. Add enough cold water to cover
by at least 3 inches. Over high heat, bring to a boil, reduce heat,
partially cover and let simmer for 2 hours, skimming any scum/froth
during the first 15 - 20 minutes. Remove pork from stock and let
cool to room temperature. Strain and degrease stock. When meat is
cool enough to handle pull into fine shreds. Place meat into reserved
stock and refrigerate overnight.

In a large pot, over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons shortening
and saute 3 cloves garlic until slightly browned. Remove garlic
and discard. Add 2 tablespoons garlic and stir until lightly browned.
Add 3 cups red chili sauce and 2 - 3 cups reserved pork stock.
Sauce should be the consistency of a medium spaghetti sauce. Simmer
10 - 15 minutes. Remove 2 cups sauce and set aside. Add shredded
meat to sauce and simmer an additional 15 - 20 minutes. Taste for
seasoning and set aside to cool.

Place chilies in a bowl and cover with warm water. Allow to soak
until softened. When softened, split chilies open and remove seeds
and veins and discard. (Leaving some seeds and veins will make for
a hotter sauce) Place chilies, oregano, garlic, sugar, salt and
pepper in a food processor, along with 1 cup stock and process
until smooth.

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, melt shortening and add
flour, stirring constantly until flour is golden. Add pepper puree,
bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 - 20 minutes, stirring
occasionally. Set aside and keep warm.

Separate corn husks and soak in warm water at least 30 minutes,
preferably overnight. Wash each husk thoroughly under running water,
making sure to remove all silk. Place on newspaper and drain well.
Place shortening in a large bowl and beat until fluffy. Add masa
harina a handful at a time, stopping to scrape down the sides of
the bowl. If mixture becomes to stiff add some stock. When masa
harina is incorporated add salt and red chili sauce for color.
Mixture should be the consistency of buttercream frosting for good

Pat drained corn husks dry and stack in an overlapping fashion.
Spread about 2 tablespoons masa mixture over bottom half of each
husk within 1/2 inch from sides and 1/4 inch from bottom. Top with
a generous tablespoon of meat mixture then fold in half pressing
lightly to seal. Continue until all ingredients have been used.

At this point tamales may be either steamed and served or they may
be place in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place in the
freezer for 30 minutes. Remove from freezer, place into freezer
bags or foil, usually 1 dozen per package, and place back into

Do not thaw frozen tamales before steaming.


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