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Tamales with Duck Fat


shelora
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Yes. And yes.

Render it down with bits of skin and then cool it. A little chicharron de pato makes the masa really, really great. Not that the cardiologist would approve!!

Let me know how they turn out. BTW what kind of fat to masa ratio do you use?

Regards,

Theabroma

Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

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I was doing 2/3 c. lard to 2 c. masa harina to 2 c. chicken broth and bit of baking poweder and salt.

I found they would never cook - I don't know if its the altitude or lack thereof - but I steamed those things for 4 to 6 hours and they were still a little wet.

So I went to 1/4 lb. lard to 2 cups masa harina and bit of baking powder and salt to 1/4 c. chicken broth. This approach produced a lovely cake-like crumb to the tamal that one can easily add other ingredients to without gumming it up - like zucchini or carne.

I would go with this approach with the duck fat. What do you think? Or should I mix it with the pork, you're saying a liitle chicarron de pato. Are you saying just to flavour it or go for the ah... whole hog, I mean quack.

I'll most likely start tomorrow morning. I am not going to let the fat go to waste.

S

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I've used duck fat to great success. This is the non-traditional way I cook: use duck fat in the tamal batter, smoke a duck over mesquite and hickory, pull meat, simmer w/ a sauce and make smoked duck tamales.

The only difference I noticed was the batter wasn't as fluffy and when I use pork lard, but the end result was fine.

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I say go for the whole, ah, quack!

Are you using fresh masa or reconstituted Maseca?

Chill the duck fat and whip it on a stand mixer. Whip in the masa/recon Maseca by apricot=sized chunks. Salt it real well, and if you're going to add baking powder, now's the time. Check the consistency, then add cold duck or chicken broth. I usually beat it and add broth until it is the consistency of pound cake batter, or like real heavy whipped cream - it still slumps a little in the spoon, but will not fall off the spoon if you turn it upside down.

When steaming, make sure that there is at least a 2" bed of corn husks between the water and the tamales. Top them with another thick layer of corn husks and then tuck a towel over everything before putting on the lid. That will keep the condensate from falling back into the tamales while they steam. Shouldn't take more than 1 hour to 1 1/4 hours unless you make them really huge. Turn off the fire and let them sit in the pot about 20 minutes before taking them out.

That should give you moist but not wet tamales.

Theabroma

Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

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  • 4 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I made duck fat tamales last week with great success......the flavor is almost indescrible. I highly recommend everyone to do try some duck fat......actually, the fat goes quite well with many other mexican dishes. I love to refry black beans in some duck fat and some cumin.

"We do not stop playing because we grow old,

we grow old because we stop playing"

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You are spot on! This works very well, and the flavor is really better than expected. I used to use whole butter until I discovered duck fat would work, at least for certain dishes.

I say go for the whole, ah, quack!

Are you using fresh masa or reconstituted Maseca?

Chill the duck fat and whip it on a stand mixer.  Whip in the masa/recon Maseca by apricot=sized chunks.  Salt it real well, and if you're going to add baking powder, now's the time.  Check the consistency, then add cold duck or chicken broth.  I usually beat it and add broth until it is the consistency of pound cake batter, or like real heavy whipped cream - it still slumps a little in the spoon, but will not fall off the spoon if you turn it upside down.

When steaming, make sure that there is at least a 2" bed of corn husks between the water and the tamales.  Top them with another thick layer of corn husks and then tuck a towel over everything before putting on the lid.  That will keep the condensate from falling back into the tamales while they steam.  Shouldn't take more than 1 hour to 1 1/4 hours unless you make them really huge.  Turn off the fire and let them sit in the pot about 20 minutes before taking them out.

That should give you moist but not wet tamales.

Theabroma

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I use unsalted butter - Plugras or its ilk when feeling crazy - for sweet tamales. In Mexico, butter is sometimes used, but lard is the traditional fat as you know, even for sweet ones. Although the lard gives them a great mouthfeel, I just have never acquired a preferential taste for sweetened products enriched with lard.

Butter does make a wonderful masa for a savory tamal, but there is just something missing. And that something for me appears to be rendered animal fat. So lard, duck fat, or schmaltz rule for savory tamales.

There is one place, however, where I use either butter, or freshly made pork lard and that is for fish or seafood tamales - they can be overwhelmed by a fat with a whole lot of flavor.

Regards,

Theabroma

Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

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