2-3 pounds of pork loin roast (or whatever slab of mean you want, really)
1 6-8 oz pack California chile pods
8 oz corn husks
8 oz tomato sauce
1 lg onion
The night before . . .
Cook the meat in a crock pot over night with a tiny bit of water, salt, some of the onion and some garlic.
Wash the chile pods, put in a large pot with a little water, bring to a boil, then turn the heat off. Leave covered in the water over night.
Put husks in a large pot or bucket and let them soak in warm water over night.
In the morning . . .
Shred the meat.
De-vein the chile pods.
Rinse the husks individually through running water. Stand them, pointy-ends up, back in the bucket or pan in which they were soaking.
Make the sauce - put chiles in a blender with 1/4 onion, tomato sauce, garlic, and salt. Blend, then press it through a fine strainer. It will be thick. If it's too thick, at a little bit of water.
Once strained, bring it to a boil in a sauce pan. Once boiling, add the shredded meat, turn the heat off, and set it aside.
3 1/2 pounds masa* (makes about 48 tamales)
1/2 pound lard** (Yes, lard. Get the good stuff and get over it.)
1 Tb baking powder
2 C water
4 tsp salt
Combine water and salt in a sauce pan and heat until it's very warm
Mix masa with 2Tb to 1/4C of warm salty water with hands until well mixed and sticks together but not sticky to touch.
Cream the lard and baking powder until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Combine masa with lard and beat another 3 minutes.
Spread masa onto corn husk (pointy end away from you and smooth side up). Add a small amount of meat up the center. Roll from the sides and fold the bottom pointy end up.
Place in a steamer in a standing position. Steam 1 1/2 - 2 hours over medium high heat. Tamales are done when the masa does not stick to the husk when opened.
*"Masa para tamales sin preparar" from the local Mexican market.
**If you don't have access to your own lard, get the fresh packed lard from the local Mexican market too.