I grew up on Mexican food and Disney animations, so when I was invited to a Tamale Masterclass at Mestizo to help launch the Blu-ray and DVD release of Disney Pixar’s animated smash Coco I could not say no..
If you have not had a tamale… they are made from a masa dough that’s filled with meat, veg or even fruit. They are wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves and steamed till they are fluffy and cooked. The wrapping is discarded before you eat making them a portable street food dish or back to their origins of feeding Aztec or Mayan armies.
Tamales are really overlooked here in the UK when it comes to Mexican food. Admittedly they are not as pretty at a beautifully layered taco, but they are sooo delicious and hearty. Despite the time they take to steam, they are a bit of a doddle to make.
Here is a simplified rundown of how they are made.
- Traditionally they are made with animal lard but using vegetable fat (trex) today. You need to whip the fat till its light and fluffy. In our masa masterclass, our teacher said it had to be done by hand, I'd deffo use a machine.
- Then you add some of the ground masa to the vegetable fat. Traditionally masa is made from hominy. Hominy is a treated corn that’s dried and ground to a coarse powder that used in Mexican cuisine.
- You then lighten up the dough with some of the stock. You can use vegetable stock or meat stock
- You continue alternating till you have a thick creamy paste.
- You next spread a bit of the masa dough into pre-soaked corn husks. You add the filling and then though a clever process of tucking, you get a lovely corn husk parcel.
- You will need to steam them for about 3 hours to make sure they are fluffy and light.
A huge Thank you to Mestizos for their hospitality and tamale masterclass.
Coco is out today on Blu-ray and DVD Here. (Affiliate Link)