Boil pork with garlic, bay leaf, and salt until it is tender and falling apart
Prepare red sauce
Clean, seed, and de-vein dried chiles
Boil chiles for about 20 minutes
Blend together chiles, garlic, onion, oil, and salt, and if necessary a couple of tablespoons of the reserved liquid from where you boiled the chiles until you have a smooth sauce.
Remove pork from broth, but reserve the broth
In a pot, shred pork and combine with red sauce.
Add one cup of pork broth
Stir well and let simmer on low heat until flavors come together well. Taste and add salt if needed.
Prepare corn husks
Bring large pot of water to a boil and turn off, then place your husks in the pot to soak in the water.
You'll need to rinse the husks. You can rinse the husks before or after soaking. I prefer to rinse husks after soaking in hot water to bring down the temperature and make them easier to handle. Plus, rinsing after soaking loosens up some of the debris on the corn husks from where they have been sitting in their packaging.
Prepare steamer pot
Fill bottom of steamer pot with water so that it comes up to just below where the steamer tray sits.
Put a coin in the bottom of the pot so you can hear it jiggle around in the bottom of the pot if the water gets too low.
Add steamer tray and set aside to be filled with tamales
Strain pork broth into separate pot or bowl so it is free of any bits of pork for when you add it to the masa mixture
Beat lard with mixer until it is light and fluffy
Add masa and baking powder, start mixing slowly
Begin to add pork broth one cup at a time, while mixing slowly
Once all of the broth is added, continue to beat masa mixture until it is all well-incorporated and fluffy
Prepare tamales for steaming
Spread masa on clean, soaked corn husk. If the masa seems difficult at all to spread, you can either add a little bit of water or broth to the masa, but you can also just dip your spoon in water so it will be easier to spread the masa on the husk.
Add filling to masa
Roll up tamal, twist bottom of husk, and place in steamer
Steam tamales for an hour or more, until the husk will easily come away from the masa
Enjoy your tamales!
To reheat just one or two tamales, place them in a ziplock bag and sprinkle in a few drops of water. Microwave unsealed bag for 30 seconds to 1 minute. (You'll need to determine time based on the power of your microwave.)
To reheat several, place tamales in steamer pot and reheat for about 15 to 20 minutes, or if frozen, add another 10 to 15 minutes.