Mexican Pork Tamales

Tamales date back to early Mesoamerican civilizations. Having gone through a variety of changes throughout the local history, the modern specialty rose to the status of 'comfort food'. In spite of the complexity of the cooking process, tamales are a favourite at many of the Mexican holidays and festivals.

Mexican Tamale

© Li Tsin Soon - Pork Tamale


  • 1 large pork loin
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dried chile pods (to taste, adust for heat preference)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can pork or beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup lard or butter
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 package corn husks

Cooking Instructions for the Mexican Pork Tamales

  1. Soak the corn husks in a bowl of lukewarm water, approximately 130 degrees. Corn husks may be left overnight if so desired, but must be soaked for at least 1 hour to gain the pliability needed to wrap the tamales. Otherwise, the husks will fray and break.

  2. Toss the pork into a slower cooker with broth, diced onion and garlic, then add enough water to cover. It's preferable to let this go overnight or all day if it's possible. If not, use the high setting for at least 5 hours. The meat should be able to be flaked with your fingertips.

  3. Remove all stems and seeds from the chile pods. Put chiles in a pot with 1 cup of water. Simmer lightly for 20 minutes, making certain the chiles don't get bopped around by too heavily boiling water. Let them rest on a cool surface until room temperature. Place the chiles and water into a blender or food processor and mix until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, stir in salt, and set aside. Shred the cooked meat and mix in one cup of the chile sauce.

  4. Beat the lard or butter with a tablespoon of the pork broth/chile sauce mix until fluffy and frothy in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix the masa harina, baking powder and salt. Then stir the dry ingredients into the lard mixture, adding more broth mix as necessary to form a wet, sponge-like dough.

  5. Remove the corn husks from the water and pat dry as you begin to use them. Do not remove all of them at once or you will risk your husks drying out.

  6. Spread the dough out on the corn husks to 1/2 inch thick. Place a large spoonful of the meat mixture into the center. Fold the sides of the husks into the center and put in a steamer. Steam for about 1 hour.

  7. Remove tamales from the husks and drizzle remaining hot sauce over. Then top with sour cream if desired.
Mexican Tamales

© evilgurl - Mexican Pork Tamales