Recipe: Barrio Queen Green Chile Pork Tamales

‘Tis the season of togetherness–and that includes time in the kitchen. Crafting your own tamales with loved ones is the perfect–and mighty festive–way to kick off your weekend with loved ones. Barrio Queen shows you how. Want to skip the togetherness and get to the goods? For the holiday season, Barrio Queen is dishing up three flavors of tamale for pick-up: Pork Green Chile (a shredded tender pork slow cooked in a fresh green chile tomatillo sauce); Chile Verde del Pollo (flavorful pulled chicken combined with our fresh green chile tomatillo sauce); and Tamales de Carne (delicately slow-cooked beef brisket in a ancho-guajillo and chile de arbol sauce).
Barrio Queen Green Chile Pork Tamales
For this recipe, you’ll want to start with making the sauce first since it takes longer and is a two-step process. Another tip is to cut and prepare items the night before so all you have to is cook and not have to do prep. Takes a little advance planning but can make it enjoyable to just concentrate on the cooking.
2 Lbs. Pork shoulder cut into about 1 inch cubes. Shoulder meat will be moister and more flavorful than loin meat.
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 medium white or yellow onion, julienned
2 poblano peppers, deseeded and julienned
2 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp of ground black pepper
2 T cooking oil, your preference
In a large medium-high heated sauté or brazing pan, add oil to coat the pan and quickly dump in the pork cubes. Next, add the onion, poblano pepper, garlic and spices. Stir intermittently to cook them evenly until cooked through. Reduce heat slightly and continue to cook to reduce the amount of liquid in the pan from the pork. Once reduced there will still be fat that was rendered off in the cooking process. Don’t drain it! It makes for the great flavor. Next, add the Green Tomatillo Sauce (see below for the recipe) and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Mixture is now ready for the tamale assembly.
Green Tomatillo Sauce
2.5 # green tomatillo
1 seeded jalapeno (Jalapenos this time of year tend to be hotter so don’t blend all of it at once until you taste the sauce)
1 poblano pepper
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium yellow onion cut into large dice
Roast the above ingredients together on a sheet pan at 400 degrees for about 30 min. until slightly browned on the skin.
2 cloves of garlic
1 T kosher salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
Place all the roasted ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth adding salt and pepper to taste.
Dry Corn Husks Procedure
Soak in hot water until really soft and pliable. Typically up to an hour ahead. Take out of the water when ready to wrap.
Masa Types: Prepared (can be procured from any Hispanic grocery such as Ranch Market, Food City, La Fiesta or El Super)–masa with lard; not prepared–add lard or vegetable shortening, salt and baking powder
Tamale Assembly
* It’s really important to be fairly accurate in the filling and dough. If you make them too big, they will take quite a while to steam.
Arrange one husk on a work surface with the narrow end pointing away from you. On the wide end, spread 3 tablespoons (about 4 oz.) of the tamale dough in a 5×3 in rectangle, leaving a ½ inch border of husk at the bottom. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the chicken filling in the center of the tamale dough. Fold in the long sides of the husk, overlapping them to enclose the filling. Fold the bottom up. The goal is that you have enough dough completely covering the filling, which is in a little pocket in the center. Roll all the way up. You can use kitchen twine to tie them closed or place them in the steamer folded side down.
Tamale Cooking
With a large stock pot and a steamer basket, fill with enough water to fall just below your steamer basket. Heat to get it to start steaming. Loosely arrange tamales in steamer. If you have a cheesecloth or a small towel, cover the top of tamales with it. It will help to steam evenly the tamales. Cover and let steam on medium heat steaming them for about 60 minutes. Be sure to check the water level periodically so it does not run dry or your pot will be ruined.

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