I went back home recently to learn how to make our family tamales. Of course my camera battery died so I ended up having to take photos with my phone.
Granted it's pretty darn hard to make tamales in one day. I'm sure you could, but it's exhausting. My dad had cooked the beef and pork the day before. He also cleaned out the chili peppers so we could use them for the sauce. We boiled them and then tossed them into the blender along with with roasted garlic and onions. Once that was done, we strained it so we got the nice, smooth sauce that would be used for the beef and pork. We actually did this with 2 different types of chili peppers. The beef used just one kind of chili pepper and the pork used both.
At the same time we also were making the picadillo filling which is made with ground beef, squash, carrots and jalapeno juice.
After we finished this my mom and I cut up the jalapeno cheese that we use for the cheese tamales. Oh such yummy cheese! By this time I was exhausted and we'd just done the fillings!!
The next day my dad and I went to pick up the pre-made masa. We were aiming to make 100 tamales so we got 2 bags of masa which was about 25 lbs. My dad took out last year's corn husks that we didn't use and soaked them in hot water. My aunt came over to help assemble and we had a tamale assembly party!
It took about an hour and a half to get them assembled and then we put some on to cook. Usually my dad and, uh some other family members start asking 15 minute into them cooking, "Are they done yet?" It takes a while to cook them (steaming), but it's always worth the wait when they're finished.
The verdict? Amazing! I don't know when I'll get around doing it all by myself, but at least it's a start. I took some tamales to my coworkers and then some of my other coworkers said "Heeeeeeeeeeey, where'd the tamales come from?" The tamales get around. I also asked my dad about how many tamales did we make last year? He estimated 900! Isn't that crazy!!! I told him to keep count so we'll see if he actually does when I go home for Christmas. Anywho, it's certainly not Christmas in my family's house without tamales cooking on the stove! Yum yum!