Gramma Rosie's Pork Tamales

Gramma Rosie’s Pork Tamales

8-pound Boston butt pork roast
10-12 garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)

Cut pork roast into chunks and boil with salt in water until done (approximately 1 1/2 hours). Reserve broth. Grind pork and garlic cloves into large pan. Add chili powder, cumin and cayenne pepper and “massage” into meat until color is even.

Masa dough:
4 cups instant masa harina
3 cups pork broth
2 cups warm water
1/2 cup chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients in bowl until smooth.

3 or 4 packages corn husks

Soak husks overnight (at least 3 hours) in warm water. Separate and clean.

To make tamales, spread 1 generous tablespoon of masa mixture in center of husk, but toward one end. (We use a tablespoon and tap the spoon sideways on the husk to dump the masa, and then use the back of the spoon to spread. It doesn’t have to be even or “pretty”-it evens out pretty well while cooking.) Put about 2 tablespoons of meat mixture along the center of the masa.

To roll, pull the side edges of the husk together and fold just above the tamale and wrap. Fold the “tail” up. Place rolled tamales in pot with steamer grate in bottom. Open end should be up. (Laying the pot on its side to fill makes it pretty easy and pot should be at least 8 inches deep).

Fill pot until fairly full so that when upright, tamales do not shift. If you don’t have enough to fill the pot, use crumpled aluminum foil to hold tamales upright. Carefully fill pot to about 1 inch below top of tamales with remaining pork broth and warm water.

Cover and cook on high until bubbling. Reduce heat to medium and cook approximately 45 minutes or until done.

Yield: 6 dozen.