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Masa for Tamales

  • TOTAL TIME: 15 MIN
  • SERVINGS: Makes enough for 16 to 18 tamales or one 10-inch tamal pie
  • FAST

"Tamales are often made by Mexican matriarchs to feed a crowd at parties or weddings," says chef Alex Stupak.

Use this recipe to prepare Stupak's Steamed Pork Tamales, Fried Pork Tamales or Tamal Pie.

  1. 2 1/2 cups masa harina (see Note)
  2. 1 1/2 cups hot water
  3. 1 cup cold lard
  4. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  6. 1 cup cold chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  1. In a large bowl, stir the masa harina with the water until evenly moistened; let cool. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the lard with the baking powder and salt at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the machine on, add the masa in golf-ball-size lumps, then drizzle in the chicken stock and beat the masa until completely smooth. Increase the speed to high and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes; the texture should resemble soft hummus.
Notes Masa harina (nixtamalized corn flour) is available at supermarkets, specialty food shops and online at mexgrocer.com.