Achiote pork tamales

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Last week I bought a nice plump pork butt and made my tamales for a local food vlog “Train city eats” . It was great fun showing strangers my kitchen and pretending I knew what I was talking about. We visited the local Mexican grocery store, laughed in my kitchen then ate my tamales and I am happy to say that the host loved my food.

I was quite nervous to be filmed and even more nervous to share this recipe with people. These tamales are near and dear to my heart and are my ode to my Hopi heritage. A fusion of traditional Hopi tsilsomiviki (tamales) and my favorite meat spices for the filling (sikwiongala), these tamales are to die for. Trust me when I tell you that the meat is so good that you will be lucky if you have any left to actually make the tamales.

Although this recipe takes 2 days to make I assure you it is worth every bite, every single delicious tender bite. I hope you enjoy them and sty tuned for more Hopi fusion recipes!

Makes 30-40 tamales depending on how big you make them

What you need

  • Crock pot
  • 4 lb pork butt
  • 8 cups masa, use blue corn for a more traditional Hopi tamales
  • 3 cups chicken broth or 2 natural bullion and 4 cups water. I like to  sub a cup of water with beer!
  • 1/4 c achiote powder (also labeled annatto powder)
  • 4 tbsp cumin
  • 4 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • juice from 1 orange
  • juice from 4 limes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 extra cup of chicken broth for masa
  • water as needed
  • salt for masa
  • 4 tbsp vegetable  oil
  • corn husks

How to make it

  • massage  the pork with a tbsp of  salt
  • place in the crock-pot on high
  • add achiote, salt, cumin, broth, coriander, lemon/orange juice, cumin, diced onion and cook for 24 hours
  • turn heat down to low, mix juices around and push pork into the juice by breaking it apart a put with a fork, cook for another 6-8 hours
  • soak corn husks in a bowl of hot water for half hour, I usually fill the sink with hot water and soak there
  • in a bowl mix masa, cup of chicken broth, salt. oil , a couple of cups of the pork juices and mix, add water until the masa is completely moist
  • take a couple of tablespoons on the masa and put in the corn husk
  • flatten with your palm, add a spoonful of meat, fold husk and tie with a piece of husk or lay fold side down
  • repeat until all your tamales are done
  • Fill a big pot with about 2 inches of water, lay a steamer down, bring water to a boil
  • assemble the tamales in the pot, stacking with space between them to allow steam to go through
  • cover with foil and cook for 45 minutes
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4 thoughts on “Achiote pork tamales

  1. I am an Arizona girl and have had many, many different kinds of tamales. I can honestly say these are the best tamales I have ever had. Especially with the blue corn masa.

  2. Pingback: Mama Mouse on Train City Eats! | Mama Mouse Says

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