Tamales are a traditional Mexican food served at Christmas. They are one of those perfect foods that almost everybody likes. They are easy to reheat, easy to eat & very portable. They are a bit labor intensive to make, but very worth the effort. I've also been told they freeze well, but there are never any left to freeze when I make them, my family gobbles them up immediately.
And (This is shredded pork, but you can also use shredded beef or chicken.) I cook the meat in my crockpot until it is falling off the bones, then let it cool in the fridge for a couple hours (or overnight). Remove as much grease from the cooled meat as possible, then shred it either with your hands or using two forks to pull it apart. Add about 1/2 can of enchilada sauce for flavoring. Keep the broth for use in making the dough.You will need a pot like this with a steamer insert
To prepare the dough, combine 3 cups Masa, 1/2 t salt & 1 t baking powder. Add 2/3 cup shortening and cut in like making biscuits. When it is crumbly, add 2 cups either broth from the meat or canned chicken broth. I add about 1/2 can of enchilada sauce to the broth & heat it ahead of time. Mix the liquid into the dry until the dough becomes spongy. Let sit for a few minutes.Put about this much masa on a soaked & rinsed corn husk (soak corn husks in HOT water for about 30 minutes, then rinse thoroughly & remove any corn silks)
Flatten it out
Put a small amount of meat all down the center
Fold over the corn husk
Fold the husk back open