I finally got off my arse and with Erik’s help got the Masa mixed and then made the tamales. They’re still steaming as I sit here typing this. They’re taking longer than usual, but that’s because I made such a HUGE batch! HA HA! We’ll be eating tamales for a week.
I took some photos of the process in case someone out there would like some help with making tamales from scratch, enjoy!

Masa Mix
2 lbs MaSeCa flour mix
3 tbsp paprika
3 tbsp salt
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp ancho chili powder
3 cloves minced garlic
3 cups corn oil or melted lard/vegetable shortening
2 quarts stock

For this batch I used the left over stock from making the braised beef, and some home-made chicken stock that I had on hand to make up the 2 quarts. If you’re going to use store bought, use low sodium.
I also used a solid-at-room-temperature vegetable shortening that I get at Whole Foods because it’s not got any extra additives. I melt it down in a pan with the minced garlic, which aromatizes the garlic into the oil and lets it get into all of the tamale dough mixture.

In a large bowl combine the MaSeCa mix and the dry spices and mix until incorporated fully. Add in the oil (and garlic) slowly and mix until it has been fully incorporated into the dough. Slowly work in the 2 quarts of stock. NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT add all the stock at once you’ll have soup, it won’t work and it will be ruined. Also make sure you get it mixed thoroughly well as you get toward the last 2-3 cups of stock to add as you may not have to add it all. The mixture should become thick like peanut butter and the dough will float in water when it is mixed properly.

Soak corn husks (or shucks depending on where you’re from) in water for at least 20-30 minutes up to 2 hours. Drain husks and then get your scraper or a knife and spread the tamale dough over 2/3′rds of the husk. You can leave one edge slightly unbuttered if you want a clean tamale finish but I prefer a good seal on the tamale.
Add the meat down one side, roll one third over and fold up the bottom of the tamale then continue to roll untill you get a tight package. Stack the tamales into the steam pot and steam over water (OR STOCK!!!) for approximately 2 hours until the dough is firm to the touch.

MaSeCa tamale dough mixture

Draining a corn husk

The next few are a series of spreading the dough evenly onto the corn husk. After practice you can usually do it in one go.

Once you have the shucks coated, you just add your meat mixture…

And roll….

And fold…

And roll again…

Finished Tamale rolled and ready!

One little, two little, three little tamales… all in a row.

Tamale Madness Day!