tolima style pork tamales

servings: 12


Ingredients for Marinade/guiso sauce*

1 large onion chopped

6 garlic cloves

1 large red bell pepper chopped

4 scallions chopped

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon onion powder

3 tablespoons achiote paste

2 teaspoons salt

2 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock

2 Roma tomatoes chopped

2 pounds pork loin chopped in 1-inch pieces

Ingredients for Masa

5 cups vegetable (or chicken) broth

4 cups precooked cornmeal

*2 cups previously made marinade/ guiso sauce

3 cups cooked white rice

1 cups frozen peas

Ingredients for tamales

40 plantain leaves cut into 24-inch rectangles

2 cups gold potatoes peeled and sliced in 1/2 inch pieces

2 cups carrots peeled and sliced

6 hardboiled eggs peeled and halved



Instructions for Marinade:


Place onion, garlic, bell pepper, scallions, cumin, onion powder, achiote, salt and stock in a blender container. Blend until smooth. Place pork loin pieces in a sealable plastic bag with 1 ½ cup blended mixture. Seal, press with fingers to distribute marinade and refrigerate 4 hours to overnight. Place leftover sauce in a jar and refrigerate.


Instructions for Masa:


Heat broth in 6-quart stock pot over low-medium heat; about 2 minutes. Do not boil. Stir in cornmeal and 2 cups of marinade sauce. Mix with a large spoon until thoroughly combined. Stir in rice and peas. Remove from heat and set aside.


To assemble tamales:


Carefully pass each banana leaf over an open flame (from stove burner) to make malleable and soften.


Place 1 leaf on a work surface and place a second leaf on top, making a “t”. Place 1 cup masa mixture in the middle of leaves, top with ½ cup marinated pork loin pieces, 2 slices of potato, 2-3 slices of carrot and half a hardboiled egg. Bring the corners of the banana leaves up over the filling, grabbing them with one hand and securing with cooking twine with the other; making little “purses”. Continue assembling until all filling and masa has been used.


Bring a large tamal steamer with water to a boil. Carefully place remaining banana leaves over steaming grate. Arrange tamales in steamer, cover with lid and steam for 2 ½ hours. Remove tamales from pot and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Cut twine and serve.

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