Pork Pibil Tamales with a Chile Infused Masa . Besides my Mom’s traditional chile colorado tamales and tamales de frijol, this recipe for Pibil Pork tamales is right up there in flavor and another of my favorites! I was asked by a friend if I could prepare some “not so spicy” pork tamales for her husband who is from Puerto Rico. Pork is used in many delicious and popular Puerto Rican dishes, but chile peppers are not traditionally used . The pibil is infused with dried chile guajillos, wich are mostly on the milder side. The added citrus and spices in the pork add great traditional Mexican flavors and I wanted him to enjoy a more authentic flavored tamal. I say this often when blogging about tamales. It can seem a bit overwhelming, the whole process of making tamales at home takes time and planning. Take your time, step by step and break it up into a couple of days. Before you know it, you will be enjoying a plate of hot tamales from your own kitchen. Buen Provecho!
10 chile guajillo, stems and seeds removed
5 cups masa harina
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups warm low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups pork lard, melted
1/2 cup warm chicken broth
You will also need
50 dried corn husk
*soak the corn husk in very hot water for at least one hour before using for tamales
6 cup Pork Pibil Filling * Click onto picture of “Shredded Pibil Pork” for complete recipe
1. Transfer the chile guajillos to a sauce pan. Cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes. Let steep for 30 minutes. For Masa: Combine the masa harina, baking powder and salt, set aside. After 30 minutes, drain the chiles and transfer to the blender. Add 1 cup of fresh water, blend on high until smooth and strain pulp out with a wire mesh strainer. Stir together the warm broth with chile sauce. Gradually add the liquid to the dry ingredients until dough forms. Mix in the melted lard and remaining 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Taste masa for salt, cover and let set for 30 minutes.
2. Set up corn husk, masa and filling to assemble tamales. Shake off excess water from husk. You want the husk to be uniform in size, about 5 inches in diameter. Spread a generous amount of masa (1/4 cup) on bottom half of husk. Leave a little space on each side of husk with no masa. Fill with 3 tablespoons of filling, fold in sides, then top down. Continue filling until done.
3. Prepare large steamer pot or tamalera. Fill bottom with water so it just comes up to the steamer insert. Arrange the tamales, open side up, in pot. Cover tamales with extra cork husk, layer them on top to cover or use foil paper. Bring to a rapid boil, reduce heat, and continue steaming for 1 1/2 hours. You will add hot water as needed. I set my timer for every 30 minutes and add more hot water. Never let it run out of water. Remove from heat and let stand for 30 minutes before serving. They will firm up as they cool. Yields 40 to 43 large tamales .
4. Serve tamales with your favorite salsa verde or tomato salsa recipes. Cool the tamales completely before storing in an airtight container or plastic storage bag. If freezing, wrap or store in freezer bags, 6 per bag. Don’t forget to lable and date the bags.This will make it easier when it comes to defrosting. To reheat, add to a covered casserole dish and heat in microwave or in the oven. I like to reheat my defrosted tamales on a medium heat comal or griddle pan until the corn husk start to char slightly. There is nothing like that wonderful aroma to take me right back home and right into my Mom’s cocina.