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Spicy Pork Carnitas Tamale Filling

Carnitas are small pieces of refried seasoned pork. They give these tamales a flavor-intense filling.

2 1/2 pounds pork butt (have butcher cut into 1/2-inch dice)
4 cups water
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 tablespoon salt
3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
4 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced

Place all carnitas ingredients in a large, heavy-bottomed, high-sided saucepan and cook slowly over medium-low heat for about 1 hour, until the pork is very tender. With slotted spoon remove pork and refrigerate. Refrigerate broth until fat solidifies. Melt 2 tablespoons of this fat in heavy skillet. Add pork and fry for 5 to 7 minutes until browned. Set aside and cool. (Spicy broth may be used for a soup base.) Makes enough for about 20 medium tamales.

Adapted from "Tamales" by Mark Miller, Stephan Pyles and John Sedlar

Thursday, January 06, 2000



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