Wild Hog Tamales
When thinking about that rally weekend I like to think cheap and easy at the campsite. Most if not all my prep work is done at home and finished at the campsite. If you are like me, you will want to spend more time partying than cooking. Although, I do love cooking, these tamales are very portable, sharable, easy to reheat, and are damn good. Enjoy and don’t forget to share with your Elders!
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All of these steps can be done the day before assembly.
Roasting the Wild Pig
4 to 5 pounds of wild pig rump or shoulder
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl:
1 TBS Kosher Salt
2 TSP Cumin Powder
2 TSP Coriander Powder
1 TBS Chile Powder
2 TSP Garlic Powder
2 TSP Onion Powder
2 Cups of Water
Liberally rub these ingredients on the wild pig meat. Place in a baking dish and pour water in the bottom of the baking dish. Do not pour water over your meat as you will rinse away the rub. Cover in heavy duty aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 3 hours. Check the wild pig half way through the cooking process and add more water if needed. When the meat is tender and cooked through take the meat out of the oven and let it rest covered. Maintaining moisture with wild game is essential. After it is cooled, shred the meat and pour the remainder of the juice over the shredded meat and refrigerate.
1 pound of Lard (no substitutes)
2-3 cups of Masa Harina
2 TSP of Baking Powder
2 TBS Kosher Salt
2-3 cups of Warm Water
1 Cube of Knorr Chicken Bullion
Whip Lard until fluffy and smooth. This is an important step. Combine in dry ingredients of Masa Harina, Baking Powder and Salt in a separate bowl. Dilute 1 cube of Knorr Chicken Bullion in warm water. Combine in stages to the whipped lard of dry and warm water bullion mixture and fold in with your hands or use a mixer on low. The consistency is a firm paste that is smooth. Cover and let it rest until ready to assemble Tamales.
1-2 packs of Corn Husks
The corn husks should be soaked for several hours even overnight is best. Sort out the crappy husks and reserve them for the steaming.
Wild Pig Tamale Sauce
5-6 Dried Ancho Chiles
6 Cloves of Garlic
1 cup of Fresh Cilantro
1/2 Large Onion
1 TBS Cumin Powder
2 TSP Coriander Powder
4-5 Limes (Juiced)
2 TSP Kosher Salt
1 cup Chicken Broth
1 Fresh Jalapeno (optional)
Boil the dried ancho chilies covered over medium heat. When the chilies turn from a dark red to a lighter red brown color they are done. Pull the tough tops off of the chilies. Set aside to cool. Reserve the liquid from the boiled chilies. In a blender combine garlic, cilantro, onion, cumin, coriander, lime juice, and salt. Depending on how hot you would like your tamales you can blend in the chilies whole or remove the seeds. The optional whole Jalapeno really kicks up the notches of heat. If you are one of those kinds of folks that like eating pain then add in a scotch bonnet or ghost pepper. Whatever floats your boat. Add chicken broth as needed to smooth out the consistency to keep it loose like a thick juice drink.
Add this sauce to your pulled pig meat and mix well. If you use a hot chili pepper wear gloves when mixing and assembling the tamales. Cover and refrigerate. Keep in mind that not all of the sauce will be used depending on how juicy you like your tamales. This sauce keeps well in the freezer if you like to double this recipe.
Set your counter top up like an assembly line. Soaked corn husks, Masa, meat, and a tray for completed tamales. Open a corn husk. Notice it’s is almost a triangle with a wider end. That wider end will be the top of your tamale. Add about 1 TBS of masa to the husk and smooth it out width wise end to end. Make sure your masa doe covers the long wide end of the husk. Add your meat to the center of the masa on the husk. Avoid over filling but you will want a nice center of meat. Close the husk around the meat and fold the small end of the husk. The small end is the bottom of your tamale. Continue until your arms are going to fall off. Drinking alcohol and listening to Pantera make this assembly time a whole bunch more fun.
In a large deep pot place crumpled aluminum in the bottom. Fill water about 2 inches deep. Line the top of the crumpled aluminum with crappy corn husks. Line your tamales with the open end up in rows. Fill in where there is a space so the pot is full. Place more corn husks on top. Cover and steam on Medium heat for 1 hour. Steam one layer at a time. When the hour is up turn the heat to low for another 30 min. Turn off the heat after the 30 min and let the tamales sit until cooled down.
You can chow down right away or place 8 to 10 in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. These tamales are excellent to give as gifts and feed a lot of people. This recipe makes about 8 dozen tamales.
At the Campsite
I will freeze these tamales ahead of time and place them in my saddle bags with my camping pot. My small foldable camping pot will steam about 4 or 5 tamales. A lot of the time groups will have someone driving a truck with everyone’s camping gear and coolers. If this is available to you take the tamales and put them in a cooler frozen. With a burner or on a campfire steam the tamales like you would at the cooking phase with aluminum, corn husks, and water. The reheat steaming time is about 20 to 30 with fairly thawed tamales.
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