The key to moist, flavorful tamales is not being shy about adding fat. Lard is traditional in Mexico, but you can use softened butter for vegetarian versions. Tamales are best eaten doused in salsa or hot sauce. This salsa verde has a fresh, tangy sourness (and kick of heat if you like) that helps cut through the richness of the masa.
Make big batches of tamales because they make great leftovers. Once steamed, tamales can be refrigerated, then resteamed, grilled, or griddled, which adds smoky charred flavor. To griddle, add cooked tamales to a medium-hot griddle or pan (no oil necessary), and heat until the husks are lightly charred and the centers are heated through.
- 6 cups Homemade Masa, or masa prepared from store-bought masa harina
- 2 cups lard or softened unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 24 large corn husks or 48 small ones
- Tomatillo salsa