Chanchamitos is the common name for Sweet Corn Tamales stuffed with pork in Chipotle sauce. The process to make them is similar to making the famous Uchepos from the State of Michoacán but without the filling.
1Chipotle pepperif you don’t find dried, use canned*
11sweet corn ears with husksabout 11 cups**
3Cupsof Masa Harinahave some extra in case your corn is too watery
1½cupslard or softened butter10 oz.***
1Poundpork shouldercut into bite-size cubes
16Epazote leavesif you find them in your area.
FOR THE SALSA:
Place the cleaned peppers and tomatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Cook for about 15 minutes over medium heat until they’re soft.
Place the contents of the saucepan in your blender and process until you have a smooth sauce. Set aside.
FOR THE DOUGH:
Detach the husk from the cobs and place in a large pot with hot water to soften (see notes).
Remove the kernels from the cob with a sharp knife, then place them in your blender or food processor. Process until they’ve been around, but still have some texture. Pour in a large bowl.
Stir in the softened lard (or butter) and mix well. Add the masa-harina little by little as needed. Depending on how watery your dough is, you will need to add or reduce the amount of masa-harina. Mix the dough until it looks like a smooth and thick cake batter.
Season with salt and sugar. The amount of sugar and salt will depend on the corn flavor, and your taste. Sometimes, the corn is too sweet and other times they are just plain in taste. Remember that some of this seasoning gets lost when you are steaming the tamales.
ASSEMBLING THE TAMALES:
Remove the husks from their warm bath and drain well. Place the smallest husks at the bottom of your steamer.
Place two husks together, with the wide sides facing each other and slightly overlapping (if the husks are too small, you can place more than two together). Spread ⅓ cup of the corn masa dough and add 3 – 4 small cubes of the raw pork meat, then top with 3 tablespoons of the sauce. Finally, place an epazote leaf (if using) on top of the salsa.
Fold the sides of the husk to the center and then do the same with the narrow edges of the husks. To tie the tamales, do so in the same way as if you were tying a package.
TO COOK THE TAMALES:
Place the steaming rack in your pot, add 2 cups of hot water, and cover the steaming rack with the small husks. Place the tamales in the pot, arranging them in a vertical position. You can also place them in a horizontal position like I did in the pictures (my pot is too small to hold them vertically). Cover the tamales with extra corn husks and then place the lid on the pot. Cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Check the pot during the cooking time to see if you need to add more hot water.
One chipotle pepper won’t render a spicy sauce. If you like spicy, you can add two or more peppers.Not everyone can find lard in their area, but butter works very well for these types of tamales.You can also use dried husks (the ones sold in packages) for this recipe, or a combination of both