Rosa Guerrero, founder of the International Folklórico in El Paso, offers this recipe for traditional pork or chicken tamales.
Yield: 7 1/2 to 10 dozen tamales
1 5-lb. pork roast, Boston butt, or shoulder or
3 3-lb. chickens
4 cloves garlic, pressed or 3-4 tsp. garlic powder
1 T. salt
1 T. ground cumin
4 1/2 c. Red Chili Sauce (see recipe, below) about
1 c. pork (or chicken) broth
Tamale Dough (see recipe, below)
1 (8-oz.) package corn husks, washed, soaked in warm water for several hours or until very pliable, drained, and patted dry.
Combine meat with next three ingredients in a large bowl. Add water to cover; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 1/2 hours, or until meat is tender. Drain meat, reserving broth; set broth aside. Bone meat and shred with a fork. Add chili sauce to meat and enough broth to make mixture soupy but not watery. Set aside. (Refrigerate meat-chili sauce mixture properly while preparing tamales.) To assemble tamales, spread about 1-2 T. of dough on each corn husk, and spread evenly. (Rosa uses 2 T. for a fat tamale.) Place about the same amount of the meat chili sauce mixture in the center. Fold sides of husk inward to center, lengthwise, so that they overlap. Fold pointed end toward center, and fold wider end down over pointed end, completely enclosing filling. Continue procedure until all dough is used. To steam tamales, use a steamer or large pot with a rack or metal colander placed inside on top of a layer of clean corn shucks. Add enough water to fill pot below rack level and keep tamales above water. Place tamales upright on right on rack, and cover with another layer of shucks. Bring water to a boil. Cover and steam for 1 hour or until tamale dough pulls away from husk; add more boiling water as necessary.
Red Chili Sauce 2 c. ground red chili (not chili powder) 2 cloves garlic, pressed or 2 tsp. garlic powder 2 tsp. ground cumin 2 tsp. ground oregano 1 tsp. salt 2 (8-oz.) cans tomato sauce 2 quarts water
From the January 1970 issue.