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Carnitas Tamales
(Shredded Pork Stuffed Corn Husks)
DVO Recipe Center
Makes: 18 tamales

To save time, make the pork and red sauce a few days ahead.

18 dried corn husks
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup red sauce (see below)
shredded pork
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, snipped
Tamale Dough
18 pitted olives

Soak corn husks in warm water to cover for at least 2 hours or until pliable. Heat oil in a large saucepan and sauté onion until tender. Stir in red sauce, shredded pork, and remaining ingredients except tamale dough and olives. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add a little pork liquid if mixture becomes too dry. Prepare Tamale Dough.

Drain corn husks and pat dry with paper towels. Spread 1/4 cup dough across the center of each husk, from one edge to within 1/2 inch of other edge. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the pork mixture into the center of the dough; top with an olive. Roll husks around the filling, starting with the dough edge. Then, fold each end up toward the center to make a packet. Secure with strips of corn husk or string, as needed.

Set tamales on a rack in a large stockpot, Dutch oven, or steamer. Pour boiling water into the pot to just under the rack level. Place a coin in the pot to rattle when water boils too low. Cover the pot and keep water simmering over low heat for 1 hour. Tamales freeze well.

Carnitas or Shredded Pork
1 pound boneless pork shoulder
1 tomato, chopped
1 onion, small, quartered
1 carrot, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 celery stalk, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tablespoon chile powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin seed
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 bay leaf

Place all ingredients in a 3-qt. saucepan. Add water to cover. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 1-1/2 hours or until pork is tender. Drain, reserving 2 cups broth for Tamale Dough. Save remaining broth for other soups as desired. Shred pork when cool.

Red Sauce
8 ancho chiles
3 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon salt

Cover chiles with warm water and let stand for about 30 minutes or until softened; reserve and strain the liquid as you drain it from the anchos. Remove stems, seeds, and membranes from chiles.

Sauté onion in oil until tender; toss in garlic and sauté when onions are just about tender. Stir in chiles, 2 cups reserved, strained chile liquid, and the remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes; cool.

Pour into a food processor or blender, cover and puree until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for up to 10 days. Makes about 2 1/2 cups sauce.

Tamale Dough
1 cup shortening or lard
2 cups masa harina
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups reserved pork broth

Beat all ingredients in a large mixer bowl on low speed, scraping bowl continuously, until mixture forms a smooth paste. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes.

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