I’ve written about Picado Mexican previously. I love the place. It’s a Mexican shop on South Richmond Street that stocks all the Mexican ingredients you will ever need and runs various different cooking classes. I’ve been to every class and would (and will) happily do them all again. The latest class I went to was a Tamales class.
What are Tamales? Tamales are made of masa which is a starchy, corn based dough. They can be stuffed with whatever type of filling you want. We had the chicken mole, bayo beans with cheese and pulled pork. It’s steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf which is removed before eating. The dough can be flavoured with different spices.
It’s the most labour intensive class of all the classes in Picado but the end result is worth it. Lily never lets you start a class on an empty stomach so to start we had cheese and chipotle quesadillas. You can find the recipe for them here.
We then were shown how to make the bean filling for the tamales. A similar recipe to what we made can be found here. We used these beans.
Lily demonstrated how to prepare and cook dried chilis along with the other ingredients for the bean filling which is super easy to do.
We then went on to prepare the pork filling. Lily had already started cooking the pork so it just needed to be shred and a sauce prepared.
The sauce for the pork was made with ancho chile, guajillo chile, garlic, cumin, Mexican oregano, water and lard. We also used this to flavour some of the dough.
Then came the hands-on fun part. The tamale dough is made from masa, lard and water or stock. We used the pork stock to flavour ours. You mix everything together until you form a smooth-ish dough.
Next, you fill your corn husk with some dough and then place the filling in the middle and then wrap the husk around the filling and tie together.
We were told to put a mark on our tamales so we could recognise them. Someone got a little territorial with his tamales.
The tamales are then steamed standing upright for about 45min to an hour.
While the tamales were cooking we made a salsa roja. This one was made with green finger chilis, garlic, tomatoes and scallions. It’s not one I’ve ever made at home before but after tasting it and seeing how easy it is to make it might be my new go to salsa.
The tamales were delicious. I personally loved the bean and cheese filled ones. I had enough to feed a small village and was absolutely stuffed.
My dessert stomach didn’t let me down and I was able to try some of Lily’s delicious chocolate and flan cake which I think is called a “Diplomatic Cake”.
Overall it was a fantastic class and really fun. I’d highly recommend people trying some of the classes (maybe not the tamales class as your first). You never leave hungry and you gain some valuable cooking knowledge.
Will I try making them at home? Yes. It’s a lot of effort but it’s easier the more people you have helping out.
Will I go back to Picado? Of course!