if you have never attempted tamales, here are some important tips: boil garlic and dried or fresh peppers in water(your favorite kind of pepper)for 30-ish minutes then cook the meat in that broth(leave peppers/garlic in) and add lots of spices. This broth flavors the meat very well--I like spice so I use tons of peppers and garlic. The meat should be cooked long enough that it practically crumbles to the touch--this makes it easier and faster to shred by hand--I usually cook mine 4 hours to overnigt depending on the cut of meat. Boiling the meat is actually the only thing it needs cooking wise--but it depends on whether you boil in the meat in all the spices or add them later. I soak my corn husks in hot/boiling water--this makes them softer faster. Two important things to remember: masa is very bland and there is no substitute for lard! I keep my meat juice for masa flavoring but still add other stuff--El Pato (mexican style tomato sauce)if you can find it is spectacular! When making the tamales, the corn husks should only be about five inches across--any larger need to be sized! (Line the meat along the edge and roll like a cigar) If I plan on freezing I cook them only half the time--also, don't load to many in the steamer or they won't cook evenly! When you place them in the steamer they need to be standing up as much as possible.
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if you have never attempted tamales, here are some important tips: boil garlic and dried or...