Real Homemade Tamales Recipe Reviews - Allrecipes.com (Pg. 1)
Reviewed: Feb. 25, 2014
Great recipe. Great results. Very time consuming, but well worth the effort.
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Reviewed: Jan. 6, 2014
I like this recipe. I do change the preparation of the meat. I cook it in the oven. I prefer the roasted pork to the boiled. If there is still cooking liquid in the pan after the meat is done, I use it in the Mesa or I reduce it down and add it back to the meat. I also prop my tamales up so that they are standing when steaming. I simply lay my steam basket on it's side and stack the basket until it is full. If there isn't enough tamales to fill the basket (which I always make extra) you could fill the empty space with left over corn husks or something to keep your tamales from falling flat. If my tamales are not sitting up, the filling tends to flow out of the husk. I would not be afraid to season my pork with extra seasoning....I like my tamales with a lot of flavor. I also keep the pepper sauce on the side, not everyone likes it in the meat at my house.
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Reviewed: Dec. 23, 2013
I remember my grandma making tamales from scratch, I always loved to help her and I learned the process. The recipes themselves are not that complicated, it's the time and work it takes what makes it tedious. The original dough is made out of dry corn kernels, boiled in an alkaline water solution made with "lime", no, no the kind of lime you squeeze, construction lime, you know, the white powder they use to make plaster and stuff, believe it or not. The result is "nixtamal". Once the corn is tender is whashed, some people peels the skins off the kernels, then is put through a grinder and the result is the "masa". Most of us don't have the time, patience or equipment to do it this way. What I do is buy the "maseca para tamales", it's coarser than the one for tortillas. Some tips for the best masa you can achieve is to use real lard, the one they scrape off the pig's skin, not the processed lard, it's hard to find but it's worth it, look for a Hispanic meat market, they usually have it. Always whip the lard until fluffy before incorporating to the dough. Always use the stock you have left from boiling the meat for your filling, it will taste way better than store-bought stock. Mix mix mix, by hand, use the cold water method to make sure your dough is ready. The basic rule for 1 kg of maseca is 1/2 kg of lard, 1 tablespoon baking powder or sodium bicarbonate (AKA baking soda) and 1-1/2 - 2 cups stock, +- as needed. Shot me an email if you need filling tips or recipes..
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Reviewed: Dec. 21, 2013
I haven't made them yet, but does anyone know that would be a healthier sub for the lard?
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Reviewed: Oct. 30, 2013
I made this recipe today and first of all, going to take longer than 35 minutes to prepare this. Second, two hours is not long enough to cook the meat to shred. There are many too many things to go over that did not work out. I would not recommend using this recipe for tamales. Go to a more involved one and plan on spending a few hours to accomplish your goal. It will be worth it in the long run.
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Reviewed: Oct. 12, 2013
Im only giving this 4 stars because I had to make a lot of changes. As written it is very bland and heavy. The first batch I made the masa turned out very plain and heavy too. I made another batch the next day and I made many changes based on others input. I cooked pork shoulder with an onion and a whole head of garlic, separated. I used the pork broth to mix with the masa. To the chili sauce I added an onion and 6 cloves of garlic and some chili powder and cumin and lots of salt, blended it all up and mixed half with the meat and half with the masa. I also added sliced pickled jalapenos to the meat mix. I also like to add 1 black olive and a thin slice of potato to each tamale after I put the meat filling on the masa. My 2nd batch turned out so well. I also made some with a strip of green chile and cheese, they were yummy too. Im so glad I finally decided to make some tamales on my own. I cant wait to experiment with other fillings.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Living In: Mesa, Arizona, USA

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Reviewed: Oct. 11, 2013
Made this today, was great! One tip we found was to use a small piece of plastic wrap to smooth out the masa onto the corn husk. Worked awesome!!! :) Also, no need to tie, just fold into thirds. Put the masa down from the bottom about 2/3 up the husk, smooth out with plastic wrap, put a small line of filling down the middle, fold one side over filling, then fold over other side. Masa will overlap but it's no problem. Then fold top down. Easy Peasy! :) Thanks for a great recipe!! Oh yeah, put the folded side down near the water, and the open end towards the top, worked like a charm! :) Thanks everybody else for sharing tips!!! :)
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Reviewed: Jun. 15, 2013
I like this recipe very much. In answer to Pat's question, I use parchment paper instead of corn husks and just fold them up. I've done it both ways and actually prefer the paper.
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Cooking Level: Expert

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Reviewed: May 3, 2013
Fabulous, and easy to follow. It is definitely labor intensive, but several dozen tamales later, my freezer is stocked and a good dinner was had by all. The only suggestion would be to check the water you do the chiles in, and if it's bitter (mine was) use fresh water for blending the dried chiles. I also followed a readers suggestion and used a pork butt instead of a loin, much more tender and flavorful. Thanks for taking the time to post this !!
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Cooking Level: Professional

Home Town: Yorkville, Illinois, USA
Living In: Coxsackie, New York, USA

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Reviewed: Mar. 18, 2013
The good: despite a few substitutions this recipe held up (fresh serrano and jalapeno peppers instead of dried, chicken instead of pork, shortening instead of lard, and the addition of cumin). The bad: Don't listen to the reviewer who said coffee filters work as wrappers. I did (thinking that I could get rid of a huge coffee filter surplus) and suffered for it. Using coffee filters is a TERRIBLE idea!! Here are the problems that I had: 1. The filters are not as waterproof as corn husks, so when you steam the tamales the fat in them will liquefy and leak out. When the water in my steamer cooled there was 1/2 inch of fat on top of the water for a double batch of tamales. This also means that the surface of the tamales will feel greasy and grease will get all over your steamer. 2. The coffee filters bond to the masa so when you want to eat them you end up peeling off the outer layer of masa. If you try to avoid this by removing the wrapping while tamales are cold it is impossible to remove without leaving paper on the tamale. 3. Because the coffee filters bond to the masa the normal test of doneness (seeing if the masa is still sticking) is useless. This means that you need to take a tamale out and actually eat it to figure out if it is done or not. Despite the fact that my tamales are probably now low fat they are still pretty tasty. They were better after sitting overnight because the flavors melded together.
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