Tamales From Start to Finish-Photo3

6. Keeping mixer on medium speed, begin adding masa to lard a handful at a time.
7. Stop to scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary.
8. If mixture becomes too stiff to beat, add tepid chicken stock, a little at a time, up to one cup.
9. Alternatively, if the mixture isn’t stiff enough, beat in masa using your bare hand as a whipping and folding tool.
10. When all masa has been incorporated the mixture should be very light and delicate, the texture of buttercream frosting.
11. Beat in salt.
12. The mixture is now ready to be filled or spread onto corn husks, banana leaves, or other wrappers.

Note: This recipe calls for lard although other chefs, including some in the books listed at bottom, offer recipes that use olive oil, vegetable shortening, or butter. Zarela writes that lard is unsaturated, while butter is only 50 percent unsaturated, plus lard contains oleic acid, as does olive oil, and that helps break down cholesterol. If in doubt, consult your doctor.)