Although I made some minor modifications, this was a great first experience making tamales. The meat was nicely spiced but not hot--my picky, heat-wimp 9-year old loved them as did everyone else. To the 1.25# pork loin, I added 1/2 chopped onion, 1/2 (7oz) can of diced chiles, 2 garlic cloves pressed, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp chile powder, 3 shakes of cayenne pepper and a Tbsp or more of Cholula Hot Sauce. Note that this is a toned down version of Charley's Mexican Meat recipe (aka "Atomic Meat") but same ingredients. I ended up making a double batch of dough since I was also making some tamales without meat. Into the meatless ones, I combined diced chiles (rest of can), grated sharp cheddar and same spices in meat but slightly less since there was less volume. I used 1/4 cup of grease from sausage made this morning + vegetable shortening instead of lard (1/3 cup for each cup of masa). I used juices from cooked meat instead of broth and omitted the sour cream. The corn was moist and the fillings were flavorful. My entire family was impressed and we had fun making them. Toughest part was making sure the steamer water didn't boil away. Use a coin in the bottom that rattles when the water boils (stops when water is gone). I served with 505 Green Chili warmed. Yum! LOVED IT!!!
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Although I made some minor modifications, this was a great first experience making tamales. ...