Before we have our “official” tamale making day on September 12, I had wanted to try the recipe and make sure everything was good – not that I didn’t expect it to be. Since I only make tamales once or twice a year, there were some things I remembered that I wanted to tell you before you start.
As a reminder, we’ll basically be following the recipe from Pressure Cooking Today. We made a double batch, which I probably wouldn’t recommend if you’ve never made tamales. With the two of us working, we didn’t get started til a little after 9 this morning and then we were done, had them steamed and cooling down before noon, so it wasn’t bad at all.
My tamales are probably smaller than the average tamale .. Vince eats 3 and I eat 2, but we made 86 tamales total. We put them up for Chad and Nicole, in vacuum seal bags, in bundles of 7 or 8, depending on the size of the tamale (mine are not very uniform). We put up 10 bags in the freezer for Chad and Nicole and we had them for lunch.
The recipe from Pressure Cooking Today is delicious. I wouldn’t change anything about the ingredients.
Here are a few tips and I’ll try to remember to bring these up again before we start our tamale making on September 12.
- For the spices, if you like food on the mild side, you may want to use less of the chipotle chili powder. Nicole doesn’t like spicy at all and it wasn’t too hot for her but it was close.
- For the meat, the Pressure Cooking Today recipe says to shred with forks. I do that but then I put it in a zipper bag and leave it overnight. The next morning, I put the meat in the Kitchen Aid mixer and with the whisk attachment, add a little of the cooking liquid from the meat. It doesn’t make the meat like ground meat but it makes it more of a consistency that I like.
- When folding the tamales, be sure that they’re short enough to fit in the pressure cooker basket. In my photo below, you’ll see that some of mine were not very uniform.
- If, while folding a tamale, the wrapper tears, simply wrap it in a second wrapper and keep going.
- If your tamales fit in the pressure cooker, this probably isn’t an issue but I like to turn mine sideways in vacuum seal bags so I don’t like to make them too tall.
- As far as spreading the masa mixture, to the 4 cups masa, I added 2 cups of cooking liquid and 1 cup of warm water. I do not strain my cooking liquid. Since I’m using the mixer, the cooked onions, and any meat remnants get shredded and add flavor to the masa mixture. A bit more liquid was added and the description . . “loose cookie dough consistency” is a good one. Nicole and I spread our masa with a butter knife and even though she had never made the tamales before, she had no trouble getting it perfect.
We cooked the meat the night before, removed it from the liquid, placed both in the fridge til the next morning.
Here’s how we spread our masa:
Here’s how we added the meat:
Here they are in the pressure cooker. We were using both of our cookers.
Out of the cooker:
All vacuum sealed and ready for the freezer.
If you’re wondering why some of them look white, it’s because of steam/fog inside the bags. Some were cooler than others when they got bagged up.
They didn’t take that long to make, they are so delicious and we had fun together.
By the way, there was a local place selling tamales for $13/dozen. We figured they cost us less than $4/dozen to make and we paid full price for the meat. If we had been able to get the meat on sale, we could easily have made them for $3 per dozen. Granted, mine are probably a bit smaller than the ones being sold but there’s no way, even if I had made bigger ones, that it would have cost over $7/dozen to make them.