Pork Carnitas Tamales with Manchamantel Sauce

Pork Carnitas Tamales with Manchamantel Sauce

Pork Carnitas Tamales with Manchamantel Sauce

Don’t you just love recipes that surprise you? I think that the more we cook, the better we get at anticipating flavours; but once in a while we come across a recipe that just floors us! You know, when your taste buds stutter, “Where the heck did that come from?”

Well, as you might have guessed, this recipe completely floored me.  The carnitas are a melt-in-your-mouth explosion of flavour.  Encased in the rich, earthy  roasted corn masa dough,  every bite is a bit of Mexican heaven! Now, I haven’t even begun to tell you how the the sweet, spicy, fruity Manchamantel sauce brightens up every mouthful, but you will just have to make the recipe for yourself. I only have one regret,  and that is,  that it only made 7 tamales! The next time, I will double or triple the recipe – it is that amazing.

I found the recipe in, “Tamales”, by Mark Miller, Stephan Pyles and John Sedlar. If you can find a copy of the cookbook, I highly recommend that you grab one. There is not a better source for creative twists on this humble Mexican treat.

I will be bringing these festive treats over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday, where I hope they get passed over, so I can take them back home again for myself…kidding!  I hope everyone there loves them as much as my husband and I did! Please come and join the very best virtual blog party on the blogosphere.  We’d love to see you there!

Tamales are a perfect treat for any party or celebration.

Tamales are a perfect treat for any party or celebration.

Pork Carnitas Tamales with Manchamantel Sauce

  • Difficulty: A bit time consuming, but worth every minute
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Ingredients:

1 ¼ pounds pork butt, cut into ½ inch dice

4 cups water

½ teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon anise seeds

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

Roasted Corn Tamale Masa Dough (see below)

10 large dried corn husks, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes

one recipe Manchamantel Sauce (see below)

Method:

Place all of the carnitas ingredients except the dough and corn husks in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low for about 1 hour, until pork is very tender, and the liquid has evaporated. Fry the cooked pork in the residual fat, over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes until browned. Set aside and let cool.

Prepare the masa dough.

Drain the corn husks and shake dry. Tear 8 strips, about ¼ inch wide from 2 of the husks and set aside for tying the tamales.

Lay out the remaining 8 corn husks on a flat work surface. Measure out a ¼ cup portion of masa dough. Place the dough inside each corn husk and flatten to ¼ inch thick, leaving about 1 ½ inches of exposed corn husk on each end and ¾ inch on each side. Place about 2 heaping tablespoons of the carnitas in the centre of the masa.

Bring the sides of the corn husk together, folding the dough over the filling. Fold up the bottom edge of the husk, over the masa bundle. Fold one edge of the husk over the masa and roll until the masa is enclosed in the husk. Twist the top end and tie with the reserved strip of husk.

Fill the bottom of a steamer with 2 – 3 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil and place the tamales in the steamer. Cover tightly with foil and a lid, so that no steam escapes while cooking. Steam the tamales for 30 – 35 minutes over lightly boiling water, adding more boiling water as needed. The tamales are done when they feel firm to the touch, but are not hard and the dough comes away easily from the husk. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

While the tamales are steaming, prepare the sauce. Ladle the sauce onto serving plates and place the tamales on top of the sauce. With a knife, open the top of the tamale wrappers from end to end.

Roasted Corn Tamale Masa Dough

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups masa harina

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ cup unsalted butter, softened

¼ cup vegetable shortening at room temperature

¾ cup warm water

1 cup roasted corn kernels (see below)

1 serrano chile, seeds and ribs removed

Method:

Place the masa harina, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the butter and shortening and beat for 3 minutes until thoroughly incorporated. Add the water and beat for 2 minutes longer; stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula if necessary. Add the roasted corn kernels and Serrano and beat for about 1 minute longer, until incorporated. Take the masa dough out of the bowl and wrap in plastic wrap. Let rest for 30 minutes at room temperature so the dough can absorb the moist ingredients.

Roasted corn

Roasting corn gives it a smoky quality that enhances its flavour.

Cut the kernels from the cob with a sharp knife being careful not to cut too deeply into the cob. Heat a dry skillet over high heat for 3-4 minutes. When hot, add the corn in a single layer. Roast for 3 to 4 minutes, tossing after 2 minutes, until dark.

Manchamantel Sauce

Manchamantel Sauce

 This sauce translates as “tablecloth stainer” and is a classic sauce from central Mexico. It pairs perfectly with the spicy pork because of its sweet, fruity undertones. Use the leftovers on chicken, sandwiches, egg dishes or whatever you please.

Ingredients:

5 dried ancho chiles, seeded and toasted and rehydrated in very hot water

2 dried New Mexico chiles, seeded, toasted and rehydrated in very hot water

1 Roma tomato, blackened (under a broiler)

1 clove roasted garlic

¾ cup fresh pineapple

1 overripe banana, chopped

½ green apple, peeled and chopped

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

pinch of ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon salt

½ tablespoon brown sugar

1 ½ cups unsweetened pineapple juice

1 tablespoon peanut oil

Method:

Place the rehydrated chiles in a food processor or blender and add the remaining ingredients except for the peanut oil. Purée until smooth.

Heat the oil in a large skillet until very hot. Add the sauce and fry at a sizzle for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly.

Awesome on their own as a snack, or pair with a green salad for a meal.

Awesome on their own as a snack, or pair with a green salad for a meal.

 

46 Responses to “Pork Carnitas Tamales with Manchamantel Sauce”

  1. bitsofnice

    Wow this looks so full of flavour! Thanks for sharing and happy FF! 🙂

    Reply
  2. Anna @ shenANNAgans

    Wow…. These tamales look gorgeous. Might add these to my Christmas in July menu. Kinda Christmas themed cause they look like presents. Mmmmm! 🙂

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Whoa, I never thought of them that way!! I’ll have to invent a very cool filling for Christmas in December! Awesome idea! 😀

      Reply
  3. Loretta

    It has been quite a while since I ate tamales, just love it. Your Pork carnitas look wonderful, such great flavor I can only imagine.

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Hey Loretta! Really glad that you like the tamales! Yup, they are just packed with all sorts of yummy flavours! 🙂

      Reply
  4. nancyc

    These tamales look so good! They’re reminding me that it’s been too long since I’ve had one!

    Reply
  5. cookingwithauntjuju.com

    Quite the recipe! It’s been too long since I made carnitas and your recipe(s) sound delicious. I love the sauce ingredients – the taste must be fantastic. I bought the Mexican cookbook Ginger recommended and now I have another good source for Mexican recipes. Thanks for sharing with Fiesta Friday and enjoy your weekend 🙂

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Thanks so much, Judi! My pleasure to share with the FF gang! By the way, what is the name of the Mexican cookbook that Ginger recommended?

      Reply
      • cookingwithauntjuju.com

        It’s called Mexico: The Cookbook. There’s lots of recipes and pictures and it has a bright pink cover! I have not used it yet, Mexican cooking can take some time as you well know. The book overwhelms me with so many delicious sounding recipes.

  6. carolinescookingblog

    I haven’t had tamales in years but if they are good, they are so tasty and these ones look so delicious. I love the sound of the sauce as well. Must try these!

    Reply
  7. A_Boleyn

    Your post makes me regret not buying that corn that was on sale last week. I could have thrown the shucked cobs on the bbq and grilled the kernels that way. Oh well, next time. And then I can make these great tamales. 🙂

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Mmmm! That’s the good thing about corn season! It’s lovely and long, so there will be lots of other opportunities to buy corn and roast it! Yeahhh! 😀

      Reply
  8. Ginger

    They look amazing! I made tamales a while ago but my pictures didn’t do the dish any justice. Yours are stunning – and the recipe makes me want to make them again, soon 🙂

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      You are too nice, Ginger! But I totally sympathize about the photos! That happens to me a lot. I have stacks of recipes that never make the blog because of bad photos!

      Reply
  9. petra08

    You are making me drool! It all looks amazing and I clearly need to stock my larder with more Mexican spices and chillies! Wow! I need to do some online food shopping and this recipe sounds delicious just reading through the ingredients, and then of course looking at the pictures that makes me wish I was there! 🙂

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Haha! Too bad I didn’t live closer and I would invite you over for tamales! But I’m sure you can find all of the ingredients online unless you have a great Latino deli in your neighbourhood. I’m lucky to have one really close to my home! Really glad you like this, Petra! 😀

      Reply
      • petra08

        Unfortunately I don’t even know where to go even in London to get Latino supplies but I will have a look online 🙂 And I am sure I would adore your tamales and have lots of fun chatting about food and life, maybe one day! 🙂

  10. Les

    Flavored pulled pork in a tamale. Sounds wonderful! I have a Bunch of corn husks sitting in the cupboard .and a bag of masa … Will have to try this when I get home …. Happy ending to the school year … Cheers – Les

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Hey Les! So good to hear from you! You would love this! I wanted to make your Sopes, but settled on this instead. Thanks so much…the end of the school year is coming really fast!! Yeaaaahhh! Enjoy the rest of your trip! 😀

      Reply
  11. Bonnie Eng

    Oh my goodness, these look so amazing! I’ve only made tamales twice (once in a cooking class, and once at home)…they are so much work! I can’t believe how beautifully you tied them…seriously, bravo!!

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      I know, Bonnie! They are so much work! I hadn’t made them in awhile either and I had forgotten how much work it takes. The next time I make them I will make them in stages. One day the dough, one day the meat etc. Thanks for your kind words. 🙂

      Reply
  12. Michelle @ Giraffes Can Bake

    Wow this is one awesome recipe! I can just imagine how delicious it is to bite into these tamales, 7 would definitely not be enough!

    Thanks so much for sharing these with us at Fiesta Friday xx

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Oh for sure that is my huge recommendation about this recipe! Double it or even triple it ! Have a wonderful week, Michelle! 😀

      Reply
    • chefjulianna

      I’m with you Mimi! This is one of the best things about blogging…I have learned so much from other bloggers too!

      Reply
  13. Margherita

    It is very curious but I was checking fours at the supermarket last Saturday (I wanted to make arepas) and I came across the name “carnitas” the very first time in my life… Now, I come here and I have the recipe and some beautiful photos… the look amazing, I wish I could have at least one for my dinner tonight!

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Isn’t that funny how that happens? Now you will probably run into carnets again and again – that happens to me too!

      Reply
  14. Fae's Twist & Tango

    It has been too long since I had tamales. I had a colleague who would make them and sell it to us for lunch to make some side money. Your recipe with pork meat and manchamatel sauce sounds/looks so~ good that my mouth is watering. Yum mmm mmm!

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Lucky you, Fae! I wish I had a colleague who sold tamales! I guess my job is done if I have made your mouth water! Have a wonderful week! 😀

      Reply

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