Peruvian Tamales Lima Style / Tamales Limenos

CitizenFood Sat, 02/07/2009 - 20:18

Makes 30 to 40 tamales

2 pounds peeled white corn
1 teaspoon coarse salt
4 garlic cloves, peeled.
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons vinegar
6 sun dried red aji panca (chilies)
2 1/2 pounds boneless pork chops
1/2 pound pork fat
2 cups water
1/4 cup roasted sesame seeds, ground
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, ground
6 egg yolks
1 pound banana leaves (cut in 12-inch X 18-inch pieces)
2 eggs, hard boiled and quartered
2 fresh yellow aji mirasol (chilies), roasted
15 Mediterranean olives, pitted and cut in half
Cooking String

Grind the corn and set aside. Blend the salt, pepper, cumin, vinegar and sun dried red aji panca (chili). Cut the meat into medium sized pieces and marinade for about 1 hour in the mix.

Brown the meat in a teaspoon of lard, add the left over marinade and two cups of water, bring it to a boil, simmer to cook for 2 hours. Remove the pieces of meat and set aside.

Add the broth to the corn, the rest of the lard, peanuts, sesame seeds, and 6 yolks. Work the dough until it makes "eyes", or air bubbles. Set aside.

To prepare the banana leaves you must pass them quickly over open fire (gas burner) or grill, exposure to high heat will bring out the flavors they release and turn them flexible enough to be used as wrapping. Make sure to take off the thick nerve like center of the leave.

To put the tamales together:

Take about three spoonfuls of dough and place them on the center of a piece of banana leaf. Dig a hole in the middle and place a piece of meat, a piece of egg, olive and a wedge of the fresh aji Mirasol.

Close the hole on the dough by adding a little bit more dough or folding and tapping it closed. Wrap tightly with the banana leaf, closing tightly all four sides on top of the dough. Use another piece of banana leaf to wrap the tamale again starting on the opposite direction and tie tightly using a string. Set aside.

Place a steamer basket at the bottom of a large soup pot and add just enough water to cover. Place the tamales vertically and side by side so the steam travels freely through them and cover them with banana leaves.

Cook for about 4 hours over low heat.

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