Shagbark Tamales

Michele Ajamian and Brandon Jaeger of Shagbark Seed & Mill invited us into their kitchen to cook tamales with them this spring. Athens-based photographer Sarah Warda captured how to wrap a tamale for the novice cook.

By / Photography By Sarah Warda | June 15, 2015

Ingredients

  • 2½ pounds of Shagbark fresh masa
  • ¾ cup lard or coconut oil
  • ½ cup veggie or pork stock
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, cumin, and chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
Filling
  • 3 cups of one or combination of sautéed vegetables, pulled seasoned pork, fresh corn, green chilies
  • 1 cup of grated cheese
  • 32 corn husks, plus a few to cut into strips for tying tamales

Preparation

Soak cornhusks in warm water for 30 minutes until pliable. Take four husks and make long strips you will use to tie tamales. Mix masa with spices, broth, and fat until it has the consistency of cookie dough. Lay out husks on a towel and pat dry.

Using a wooden spoon, hold a husk in your hand and spread a spoonful of dough on the husk, leaving clear the 1–2 inches of the top and bottom and ½ inch on the sides. (You don’t have to be precise; you just want room to roll and fold and tie.)

Add a few teaspoons of your filling down the center of the dough. Fill the bottom of the husk, then roll the tamale, and use a bit of husk to tie the top.

When you are finished filling all the tamales, stand up in a steamer and steam for 40 minutes.

You may alternatively make a dessert tamale by using sweetener and fruit with coconut oil and cinnamon or other spices that go well with fruit.

Check out the step-by-step image slideshow below!

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Ingredients

  • 2½ pounds of Shagbark fresh masa
  • ¾ cup lard or coconut oil
  • ½ cup veggie or pork stock
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, cumin, and chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
Filling
  • 3 cups of one or combination of sautéed vegetables, pulled seasoned pork, fresh corn, green chilies
  • 1 cup of grated cheese
  • 32 corn husks, plus a few to cut into strips for tying tamales

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