I'm making tamales for the first time and I'm scared guys, real scared. I know there are no short cuts in life or tamales, but laziness mixed with lower back pain always gets the best of me. I have questions and need answers!
Firstly, for the meat: Do I really need to cook meat and make sauce separate or can I short cut and cook meat right in a pre-made sauce? I was thinking salsa quemada from YDFM or a green chili sauce. I'm not opposed to making the sauce, I just wonder why make sauce and meat separately if they come together in the end. I suspect it will make assembly easier and why the hell not use a shortcut?
Secondly, the dough, how about masa preparada? I read Chicago Supermarket has it. If they do, should I use it? Do I need to add spices, fat or broth? I'm afraid I'm going to screw up the masa and again, why not use a shortcut?
Thirdly, the dough again! Suppose I don't want to use the masa preparada. When making dough using Mascea, is leaf lard really the only way to go? I mean, really, really? Is that brownish fat, labeled lard, next to the Chichrrones not for tamales? I ask out of curiosity. Also, does anyone else whip their fat? Um, for the dough!
Lastly, the dang pot. What's your best advise on how I do this without a pot and have it cook evenly? I was thinking foil pan, turned upside down on the bottom large stock pot but that seems dicey.
I'll take the advise of anyone who's ever made tamales before.
End novel length list of questions.