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Since I’m not going home for Christmas, I really wanted to bring some element of a San Antonio Christmas to myself in DC. Nothing really says the holidays like Mexican tamales, and unfortunately, I haven’t found the right kind up here in this area. Normally we order a few dozen from a lady at church, pick up a selection of pork, cheese, and venison from her garage, and then feast on them from Christmas Eve through New Years.

Of course because I’m slightly crazy, I decided making them from scratch would be a better use of my time (and oh, how much time it’s taking) than picking up some frozen Salvadorean ones from the market. I’m throwing a holiday party next Saturday, and spent today prepping the items for this recipe for pork tamales I found on Martha Stewart.

While the recipe only called for 1 lb of pork shoulder, I could only buy a 6 lb. hunk of meat. So I tripled the first part of the recipe—reserving the extra meat and broth for future meals—and froze back half of the shoulder for another day (any good recipes for pork shoulder?)

Pork Broth simmering in my LC

The tamales almost didn’t happen, as it’s insanely hard to find dried corn husks at a typical grocery store. I finally hit pay dirt at El Eden in Alexandria–and was really impressed with their spice and chili selection as well.

Dried chilies soaking

I’ll post the recipe tomorrow (I’m pulling elements from two different ones) but spent the evening making the pork filling and tamale dough. The filling is a wonderful mixture of pork cubes, with New Mexico, ancho, and chipotle chilies pulverized together with garlic, onions, tomatoes, and cilantro. (I found this handy glossary of chili types too!) Tune in tomorrow to see how the assembly goes!

All the ingredients, pre-emulsion blender

Click here to go to Tamales Day Two