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Tamales & Salsa Verde

The ultimate sharing plate this holiday season.

Tamales & Salsa Verde

Makes 30

30 dried corn husks
lime wedges, to serve

Dough
4 cups masa harina (we used Maseca)
2 cups very hot water
200g lard
5 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp salt
1½ tsp baking powder
2 cups chicken stock 

Adobo Sauce
2 tbsp canola oil

1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
10 smoked ancho chillies, stemmed, seeded, deveined and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp dark molasses
1 tsp cinnamon
50g Mexican chocolate
2 tbsp apple cider
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt

Pork Filling
1kg boneless pork shoulder, cut into cubes 

2 tbsp olive oil
1½ cups adobo sauce
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp lemon juice 

To make dough, in a large bowl stir masa harina with the hot water until evenly moistened. Knead several times to make a smooth dough.

In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat lard and butter together at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Add salt and baking powder; beat at medium-low speed until incorporated.

With the machine on, add masa harina in 4 batches, beating until smooth and scraping down the bowl occasionally.

Pour in stock in a steady stream. Beat until the dough is fluffy and soft, about 2 minutes; it should have the consistency of thick corn bread batter. Refrigerate tamale dough in the bowl for 30 minutes.

To make adobo sauce, heat oil in heavy saucepan over medium heat.

Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; allow to brown. Add chillies and cook until darkened on both sides, about 1 minute. Add stock, molasses, cinnamon, chocolate, cider, cumin and salt.

Bring to the boil. Lower to a simmer until chillies are soft, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer the mixture to blender; blend until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste.

To make pork filling, pat pork dry; season with salt. In a heavy pot, heat oil over high heat. Brown pork in batches.

Reduce the heat to medium and return all the pork to the pot. Carefully add adobo sauce to pork.

Simmer, stirring to coat the pork and fry the sauce, about 5 minutes. Add stock and return the sauce to a simmer.

Reduce to low heat, cover pot and cook for about 1½-2 hours, until pork is falling apart. Occasionally check the pork is not becoming too dry; add a couple of tablespoons of water if necessary to maintain the silky texture.

Once pork is done, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add orange and lemon juice to taste.

To assemble tamales, soak dried corn husks in warm water for about 30 minutes.

Drain well; pat dry with paper towels. For each tamale, spread about 2 tablespoons of dough on each corn husk.

Spoon 2 tablespoons of the pork filling lengthwise down the center. Fold husk and secure with strips of corn husk or kitchen string. Steam for about 1 hour.

To steam tamales, use a stock pot with wire lining or steamer insert. Alternatively, you can use a bamboo steamer.

Add water but keep it below the steamer. Line with a few husks to prevent the tamales from getting wet.

Tamales must be placed open side up along the inside perimeter of the stock pot. Steam for about an hour or until the husk peels away from the masa dough easily. Serve with salsa verde and guacamole.

 

Salsa Verde

Makes 2 cups

2 cups canned tomatillos, drained
2 pickled jalapeños, sliced (optional)
⅓ cup diced onion
2 tbsp orange juice
1 cup coriander leaves
½ tbsp lemon juice 

Place tomatillos, jalapenos, onion and orange juice in small saucepan. Heat to a simmer. While heating, coarsely break up tomatillos with spoon.

Once all ingredients are heated through, transfer to blender or food processor and pulse until it all comes together. Add coriander and lemon juice; season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Guacamole

Serves 4

2 ripe avocados
½ red onion, minced
1 or 2 jalapeno chillies, minced (optional)
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander, plus extra to garnish
1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, to garnish

Cut avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avocado flesh and put in a mixing bowl.

Mash avocado with a fork. Add onion, chillies, coriander, lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mash a little more, but leave guacamole a bit chunky so it has a good texture.

Just before serving, garnish with toasted sesame seeds and chopped coriander.

 

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