Guatemalan Tamales

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Recipe in English (Receta en Inglés):

RECADO: (the sauce)

1-1/2 pounds of tomatos
2 large pimiento chiles
3 dried chiles (include if you want it more spicy)
2 ounces of pepitoria (ground pumpkin seeds)
2 ounces de ajonjolí
1 small stick of cinnamon
1 ounce of lard
Achiote (Annatto)

Boil the tomatos with the pimiento chiles and dried chiles with a small amount of water. Liquify and colander while adding the achiote. Brown the ground pumpkin seeds, ajonjolí, and cinammon, and grind it dry in a blender. Mix the resulting powder with to cooked tomatos and colander. Boil for 20 minutes, adding the ounce of lard, pieces of meat and additional seasoning. This recado sauce needs to be rather thick and a bit salty since the tamales lose salt when they are cooked.

MASA: (tamale dough)

1 pound of corn masa (the same as used to make Guatemalan tortillas)
6 ounces of rice
8 ounces of lard

Cook the rice, liquify and set aside. Break up the masa in a half-liter of water and liquify. In an appropriate pot, boil 4 cups of water, add the liquifies masa and stir constantly. When it thickens, add the liquified rice. Continue stirring, add salt bearing in mind that the tamales will lose salt during cooking. If it becomes extremely thick, add a little water. When the mixture is cooked and is smooth, remove from heat, add the lard and mix until it disappears and the mixture looks shiny.

HOJAS Y ADORNOS: (leaves for wrapping the tamales and decorations)

1/2 bundle of plantain leaves (8 leaves should be plenty)
2 bundles of maxán (moján) leaves
1 bunch of cibaque
3 pimiento chiles (roasted)
4 ounces olives
4 ounces capers
4 ounces raisins
1-1/2 pounds of pork
1/2 pound of bacon, chopped in small pieces

Cut the maxán leaves at their thickest point, clean them and place in the sun to dry out. Cut the plantain leaves into squares about 25 cm per side, wash, and boil for 10 minutes. Chop the bacon and cut the meat into appropriate sized pieces and add to the boiling recado sauce – cook for 20 minutes. Roast the chiles, peel them, and then cut into thin strips. Place a plantain leave diagonally on top of a maxán. With a large spoon, dish out a portion of the masa in the center of the leaf and add a generous amount of the recado, making sure it includes a piece of meat. Add some bacon pieces, olives, and strips of pimiento chile. Wrap this up in the leaf and tie with the cibaque fiber (previously cut and saoked in water). Line a large stew pot with the leftover leaves, add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Load the pot with the tamales and cover with plastic. Steam slowly for about an hour and a half to ensure that the meat is cooked.