Pork Tamales In Salsa Verde
Makes 12 tamales
10 tomatillos, husked
1 medium-size yellow onion, quartered
6 cloves garlic
2 jalapeno or serrano chiles
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup corn flour for tortillas
Tamale dough (masa)
2 cups corn flour for tamales
2 cups warm water or chicken stock
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 dry corn husks, soaked in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes until soft and pliable
Strips of roasted pepper, for garnish
Make the salsa: In a medium-large saucepan, bring about 12cups of water to a boil. Add the tomatillos, onion, garlic, and chilies and simmer for five
minutes, then drain. Transfer the mixture to the jar of an electric blender
along with the cilantro and lime juice, and puree until smooth. Season to
taste with salt and pepper. Return the mixture to a saucepan, simmer gently
for 15 minutes more, taste to adjust the seasonings, then set aside.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Season the meat on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat a medium-size pot or
roasting pan over high heat until hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and the
pork and sear until the meat is golden brown on all sides, about two minutes
per side, turning often.
Pour in the salsa verde and the chicken broth, cover the pan with a lid or
aluminum foil and bake for about 1hours, or until the meat is very tender.
With a slotted spoon, remove the pork from the liquid, let it cool, then
tear it into small shreds. Reserve the liquid.
Strain the cooking liquid into a clean pot, return it to the stove over
medium heat and bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, stir the 1/2 cup of corn
flour together with 1/2 cup of water until smooth. Starting with about half
of the flour/water mixture, gradually whisk it into the sauce, adding more
until a smooth, creamy texture is achieved, stirring continuously, and
slowly simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a skillet over high heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of
oil, return the meat to the pan and brown it lightly, then stir in 1 cup of
the thickened salsa verde to moisten the mixture. Season to taste and
reserve for the tamale preparation.
Make the tamale dough: While the pork is cooking, combine the corn flour,
water or stock, baking powder, salt and lard or shortening in the bowl of a
stand mixer fixed with the paddle attachment. Mix at medium speed for about
three minutes, until the tamale masa mixture becomes light and fluffy. Or
turn out on a board with a little extra corn flour and knead until smooth.
For each corn husk, spread about 1/2 cup of masa into the center, and spoon about 3 tablespoons of pork in the center. Fold the corn husk according to the photos.
In a medium-size pot, bring about 2 cups of water to a simmer. Put the
tamales in the water, standing each on end with the folded side down, cover
and cook for one hour.
Turn off the heat and let the tamales rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm
with plenty of warm thickened salsa verde and garnish with strips of roasted