Welcome back to the blog! Tamales are a great meal to make in bulk and store in the freezer.
Tip 1: Spread the Masa with a Dough Cutter
The first time I made tamales, I spread the Masa with a spoon and had such a hard time getting it to stick. I switched to a douchebag cutter with a flat edge and can now spread the Masa in one swoop.
Tip 2: Spread the Masa on the Rough Side of the Corn Husk
Yes, I’ve made the mistake of not knowing one side from the other on a corn husk. If you try to spread Masa onto the smooth side, it will slide right off. Use the rough side and you will have much better luck.
Tip 3: Sufficiently Flavor Your Filling
One of the first mistakes I made when making tamales was not adding enough flavor or kick to the meat. The Masa mellows out the heat even with chili sauce in it. Also, try to have a bit of a thicker sauce so after the tamales cook they don’t dry out. Also, shredded meat works better than chopped meat.
Tip 4: Prep the Meat and Chili the Day Before
There are a ton of steps to making tamales. Just prepping the chili sauce and meat can take hours. Then, it is time consuming to assemble the tamales. Making the meat and chili sauce the day before helps to cut down the amount of time spent in one day. You can easily throw both the meat and chili sauce into crock pots to cook so there is minimal effort on prep day!
Update: I have since started canning pork, beef, and chicken in quart jars and using this meat to quickly be able to make tamales. It is way more convenient since the meat shreds so easy, is already cooked, and has some broth in the jar. I also can broth so if I need extra, I can just grab another jar!
Tip 5: Let the Tamales Cool before Freezing
I like to freeze 10 of them in a gallon freezer bag. This of course will depend on the size of your bag. Make sure your tamales are completely cooled before freezing or you will get ice clumps and the tamales will stick together.
I typically make around 40 tamales at a time. I’ve seen people make over 100. I haven’t ventured that far yet though. We also only have two people in our household so 40 is plenty for a few months.
Do you have any other tips for making tamales? Leave them below in the comments :).
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