To make the shredded beef:
- In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, add the beef, onion, garlic, oregano, salt & pepper. Cover with about 2 liters of water, until beef is just covered.
- Cook until the beef is fork tender, about 2 hours.
- Remove the roast to a platter to cool, reserve the liquid.
- Hand-shred the beef.
- Add the 2 cups of red chile sauce and mix thoroughly.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
Soaking The Husks
- Place the corn husks in a large container or bowl and cover with warm water.
- Place something heavy on top of the husks to keep them submerged.
- Soak for 20 minutes or more to soften.
Making The Masa
- Combine reserved liquid and red sauce.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the shortening, salt, and baking powder.
- Mix on medium/low until masa is light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
- With the mixer still running, add a baseball-sized amount of the masa and mix. Then add some of the sauce and mix. Alternate wet and dry ingredients.
- Repeat until all the masa and sauce are incorporated and have a smooth & silky feel.
- To test if the masa is ready, put a small amount in a glass with cold water, and if it floats, it’s ready.
- If the masa doesn’t float, just continue kneading for a few more minutes.
Assembling The Tamales
- Line up all ingredients.
- Scoop about a ¼ cup masa into one large husk (or two overlapping smaller husks), then smear it with a small spatula or back of a spoon.
- Add about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the shredded beef (can also add 1 slice of cooked potato, and olives, if desired)
- Fold one side of the husk to enclose, then the other side on top of it.
- Tie the tamales by folding up the bottom to the top (the narrow end), leaving the top open. Then tie with a string made from the husk.
Steaming the Tamales
- Using a large steamer or a tamalera pot, add water to the bottom of the steamer making sure it will not overflow into the steaming tray. The tamales should not touch the water.
- Place the tamales standing up. Do not overpack the pot since it may affect how they cook.
- Cover and steam on medium heat for one hour.
- To test if tamales are done, remove one from the pot and gently unfold one of the sides. The dough should pull away from the husk easily not leaving any wet masa on the husk, and the tamale should hold together.
- The texture of a fully cooked tamale is bread-like, but very moist.
Serve hot with beans and your favorite salsa.