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© Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
(26 to 28 tamales)
In a 4-quart Dutch oven, combine pork, onion, 2 cloves sliced garlic and black pepper. Add enough water to cover (about 4 cups). Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until meat is very tender. Remove meat from broth. Let meat and broth cool slightly. Remove and discard any fat from pork; shred pork. Strain broth, reserving 2 1/2 cups for dough. Cover and chill meat and broth separately until ready to use.
Meanwhile, in a dry medium skillet, cook ancho (or poblano) and New Mexico (or pasilla) peppers over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until fragrant, turning frequently. Let cool.
Wearing disposable plastic gloves, remove and discard pepper stems, seeds and ribs. Tear peppers into pieces and place in a bowl. Cover peppers with boiling water; let stand for 30 to 60 minutes to soften. Meanwhile, soak corn husks in hot water about 30 minutes or until soft.
Place a fine sieve over a bowl; pour softened peppers into sieve. Drain well; reserving peppers and liquid. In a blender, combine the soaked peppers, the remaining 1 clove sliced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and cumin seeds. Add 1/2 cup of the pepper soaking liquid; cover and blend until nearly smooth.
Transfer blended pepper mixture to a medium saucepan. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until reduced to 1/2 cup. Stir shredded pork into hot pepper mixture in saucepan.
In a large bowl, stir together masa harina, baking powder, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add canola oil, beat with an electric mixer or a spoon until combined. Stir in enough of the strained pork broth to make a mixture that resembles a thick creamy paste. To prevent dough from drying out, cover with a damp paper towel while assembling tamales.
To assemble each tamale, drain a corn husk well; pat dry with paper towels. Starting about 1 inch from the top edge of the husk, spread about 2 tablespoons of the dough into a rectangle 3 inches wide and 4 inches long, spreading so one of the long sides is at the long edge of the husk. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the pork filling down the center.
Fold the long edge of each husk over the filling so it overlaps dough slightly. Wrap husk around outside of filled dough. Tie ends with strips of corn husk or heavy kitchen string.
To steam tamales, in a very large Dutch oven, stand half of the tamales upright in a steamer basket. (Don't pack them in too tightly, but fill all the spaces.) Place at least 1 1/2 inches of water in the bottom. Bring to a boil. Cover pot. Reduce heat to medium. Steam for 30 to 35 minutes or until tamales easily pull away from corn husks and dough is spongy.