For masa I use a 3:1 ratio for masa to lard. 3 pounds masa to one pound lard. Don't use oil, use lard, don't worry you won't die. If you have a mexican market near you can usually get either "preparada" (prepared, meaning they already mixed the lard for you) or no preparada, unprepared (pure masa).
If you get unprepared then you can add how much lard you want but the way to make sure you have enough is the "float test". After mixing lard with masa either by hand or with a stand mixer take a piece and if it floats in water then it's ready. Growing up the men in the family had to mix the masa in large buckets by hand, it was messy and tiring, masa and lard all stuck to your arms. I say F that, I use my Kitchen Aid and do 4 pounds at a time. We're getting ready to make some this weekend. Can't wait!
Edit: I almost forgot to add, make sure to mix in warm beef broth while mixing to get that peanut butter consistency. Start mixing masa and lard then ladle in broth slowly.
Last edited by JiveTurkey; 12-23-2009 at 05:37 PM..