Blackberry Moose Tamales

Makes 20 tamales


For the Blackberry Moose

4 small red dried chilies
2 ancho dried peppers
4 pasilla dried peppers
2 cups water
1 medium tomato, chopped medium
1 medium yellow onion, chopped medium
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon all spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon coriander, cracked
½ teaspoon anise seeds
1½ pound moose roast
1 teaspoon salt
1 fresh bay leaf
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

For the Tamale Dough

2 cups masa harina
2 cups chicken stock, reserved from poached chicken
½ cup lard
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lime zest

For the Blackberry Mole Sauce

2-3 dried ancho chilies
2 dried guajillo chilies
2-3 cloves garlic
1 medium yellow onion
½ cup raw almonds
3 whole cloves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 tablespoons sesame seeds
¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons raisins
2 cups chicken stock
13 cup blackberries


For the Moose

Place all ingredients (except herbs) in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 2 hour or until moose is falling apart soft. Take off heat and cool. Discard bay leaf. Shred the moose by pulling apart the fibers using a fork or your fingers. Place shredded meat into a medium bowl and add fresh herbs. Mix and set aside and let soak up its own juice.

For the Tamale Dough

In a large mixing bowl combine the masa harina, lime zest with 2 cups of the reserved chicken liquid, mix well. In a kitchen aid or with an electric mixer, mix the lard until fluffy or about five minutes. A little at a time mix the lard into the masa harina until full incorporated. Mix in the baking powder and the salt and mix well. The dough is ready (well mixed) when a small piece of the dough floats in a glass of cold water.

For the Wrappers

For corn husk wrappers, place the corn husks in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, take out and cool slightly before handling. For the banana leaf wrappers, pass the banana leaf over the gas stove until soft until pliable, about 1-2 minutes.

For the Blackberry Sauce

Preheat oven to 425°F. On a large sheet tray combine, chilies, garlic, onion, almonds, cloves, peppercorns, coriander, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds and place in over and char all items. Place all charred items in a medium saucepan and combine raisins and stock. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmer for 20 minutes or until all items are soft. Take off heat and cool. Place in blender and blend until smooth add blackberries and blend again until smooth.

For assembling the tamales

In the center of each banana leaf or corn husk, place about 3-4 tablespoons of masa harina mixture. Flatten with a spoon leaving about 1 inch around each border of either the banana leaf or corn husk. Atop that place about 2 tablespoons meat mixture. Fold over the banana leaf or corn husk like you are folding a present. Tying the wrapped package with either corn husk ties or banana leaf ties, or kitchen twine.
Place the wrapped tamales in a steamer and cover the top of the tamales with a kitchen towel (to prevent drips from making tamales soggy). Steam tamales on medium heat for about 45-60 minutes or until soft and cooked through. Serve with sauce.