Top-ranked recipe named "Alycia's Tamales Nortenos"
Authentic Tamales from the Northern Regions of Mexico. You may substitute other meats (or beans and cheese, veggies, etc) for the chicken in this recipe.
Soak corn husks in hot water to soften.
Lightly toast chiles in a hot, dry pan until puffed up (careful not to scorch). Seed the chiles and let cool. Once cooled, place chiles in a blender (coffee grinder preferably) and grind into powder. Set aside, this is the CHILE POWDER you will use later.
Heat 4 Tb. Crisco in heavy pot, over med-hi heat. Add chicken and brown. Add onion, garlic, peppercorns, and 2 tsp. salt. Cover with water, and simmer until fork tender (approx. 2 hrs). Strain, reserving broth, and discarding solids. Once cooled, shred chicken.
Heat 2 Tbs. Crisco in heavy saucepan, add 4 Tbs. Chile powder and 1 tsp. Cumin powder. Stir 2 mins. Add shredded chicken, stir 2 mins. Add enough reserved broth to cover, and simmer until reduced and soupy.
Combine 4 c. Maseca, 2 tsp. Baking Powder, and 2 tsp. Salt in Large mixing bowl. Dissolve 4 tsp. boullion into 4 c. warm water. Slowly add boullion mixture into maseca mixture. In a separate bowl, cream 1 1/3 c. Crisco, with an electric mixer until iight and fluffy. Add Crisco to maseca, and beat with mixer until spongy.
Spread a thin layer of maseca mixture into the middle of each corn husk, then apply a thin layer of the chicken filling to the center of the maseca mix. Roll the corn husks up and place in a steamer basket over a large pot of boiling water. Cover tamales with a kitchen cloth or pot lid, and steam until firm, approx 2-3 hours.
Serve with guacamole, rice, and beans.