Polo Grill Blue Cornmeal Pork Tamales
with Firecracker Flames
Braised Pork Shoulder
- 1 (5 pound) pork shoulder arm picnic, trimmed of fat
- 1 cup guajillo chile sauce (see below)
- 4 fresh tomatoes, fire-roasted and crushed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- Small amount of water, if needed, for preferred moisture
- Dried corn husks
- 6 cups blue cornmeal
- 2 cups yellow cornmeal
- 4 cups Masa Harina (corn flour)
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 10 cups total of boiling braising liquid and additional water
- 2 cups melted pork lard
Guajillo Chile Sauce
- 10 dried guajillo chile peppers
- 1 cup water from soaking peppers
- 6 whole cloves garlic
- 1/4 red onion
- Braised Pork Shoulder: Trim away fat and skin from pork shoulder with a sharp
knife. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. Slowly brown the pork shoulder
on all sides in a small amount of oil in a heavy pan. Pour off drippings. Add 6
cups of water to pork. Cover tightly and simmer gently over low heat on top of range
or in a 325 degrees F oven for two to three hours or until meat is fork-tender. Cool.
Discard bones and any remaining fat from pork. Shred meat and weigh 2 pounds for
tamale filling. Reserve braising liquid for cornmeal mush.
- Guajillo Chile Sauce: Tear off stems of peppers. Cut or tear a slit
in the side of each and remove the membranes and all seeds. Place peppers in saucepan
and cover with water. Bring to boil and let peppers soak until the water is cool.
Drain the peppers, reserving 1 cup of water from the peppers. Add garlic, onion
and 1 cup of the reserved water. Puree in blender or food processor. Strain through
a fine sieve.
- Tamale Filling: Combine cooked pork with Tamale Filling ingredients. Heat
thoroughly and set aside while making mush.
- Place corn husks in HOT water to soften.
- Cornmeal Mush: Mix dry ingredients together. Add boiling water ALL AT ONCE. Stir
quickly to combine thoroughly and set aside.
- Assembly: Spread 3 ounces of cornmeal mixture onto large corn husk presoaked
in hot water. Add 2 ounces of pork mixture down the center. Using the husk as a
guide, roll cornmeal mixture over the meat mixture to encase completely. Do not
roll or spiral. Add another husk if necessary and tie at one end with strip of husk.
Place tamales at an angle in a steamer pan with the open ends UP. Steam 30 minutes
in steamer until mush is cooked and set. Microwave to reheat.
- Garnish with "firecracker flames" of red hot sauce and red chili mango
Source: Chef Robert Merrifield, Polo Grill, Tulsa, Oklahoma
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