2 cups (1 pound) chilled lard or vegetable shortening
6 cups dried masa harina for tamales
2 tablespoons ground red chile
2 teaspoons cumin
2 tablespoons baking powder
3 tablespoons kosher salt
3 to 3 1/2 cups warm water or chicken stock, and a few tablespoons more if needed
Using an electric mixer, beat the lard or shortening until fluffy, at least a minute. When it is smooth, beat in the masa harina, ground chile, cumin, baking powder, and salt. When all ingredients are well incorporated and there are no lumps, slowly add water or chicken stock, beating, until masa reaches consistency of a butter-cream icing. Do not add too much water, or the tamales will take a long time to cook. Continue to beat for 5 to 7 minutes.
2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 4 ears corn; canned corn, especially white corn, may be substituted; so may frozen corn but do not defrost first)
2 cups cooked black beans, well rinsed (Bush’s brand beans are good if you’re not up to cooking beans from scratch; use two 15-ounce cans)
2 poblano chiles, roasted and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup shredded Oaxaca cheese
1 bunch cilantro, minced (about 1 cup)
3 tablespoons canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, or about 6 peppers, minced (do not rinse off the sauce that clings to the chiles)
kosher salt to taste (depends on how salty the beans are)
Note: The photograph of these tamales on page 146 in the magazine shows the corn mixture as a filling, but Hot Damn usually incorporates it into the masa, as detailed below. The photograph also shows banana leaves used as a wrapping, but corn husks work well too, of course. These tamales are delicious just like this, but personally, I like them with 3 cups of corn and 1 cup of beans. I also use 3 to 4 tablespoons chipotle chiles.
Using a spoon, fold all ingredients into the masa; it will be speckled, like confetti. Add more water or stock if necessary; consistency should be soft and spreadable, not loose and falling apart.
Make into tamales following directions in “Tamales 101,” (page 144 in the magazine). Steam them until husk comes cleanly away from masa, about 1 hour.