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Recipe for Basic Tamales

To make tamales, cook meat by boiling in a large covered pot with enough water to cover completely. Add salt to taste and slow boil till completely done. Cool meat and save broth. When meat has cooled, shred and mix in the chili sauce. Clean oujas (corn shucks or outer husk) in warm water. (make masa by hand or with mixer) Mix the masa, lard , salt and enough broth to make a smooth paste. Beat till a small amount (1 tsp) will float in a cup of cool water.

Spread masa (1/8 to 1/4 inch thick layer, or to preference) on ouja, add a small amount of meat and roll up. Fold up ends of ouja and place(fold down) on a rack in a pan deep enough to steam. Add 1 to 2 inches water, cover with a tight fitting lid and steam about 1 1/2 hours. (a cloth can be used under the lid to make a tighter fit)

Many variations of ingredients can be used in making tamales. You can use a combination of beef and pork, or chicken, or fried beans, or vegetables, or even sweet fillings like canned pumpkin. For meat varieties, one or two olives may be added to the center, or try adding a few raisins.

This recipe will make 4 to 5 dozen tamales