Home Made Pork Tamales

Home Made Pork Tamales :

Makes approximately 4 dozen, 6 ounce tamales: Download the Recipe PDF


Part 1 Masa Ingredients (prep time 15-20 min)

  • Use your choice of either:
    Li'L Guy 5 lb. Masa
    (creamy, fine ground yellow masa)
    Miranda 5 lb. Masa
    (creamy, fine ground white masa)
    Reyna's 10 lb. Masa
    (coarse ground "Restaurant Style" bulk white masa)
    Note: Not recommended for 1st time users
  • 5 lb. Masa para tamales (Fresh Corn Dough)
  • 3 cups lard (melted to liquid form)
  • 1 1/2 cups pork meat broth or water
  • 2 tbs. salt
  • 2 tbs. baking powder
  • 1 lb. medium to large Hojas (Corn Husk)*

* You will need to soak hojas in hot water until soft before making tamales, then remove them and have them dried off in preparation for the next step.

Part 1 Directions for preparing Masa:

Mix lard, broth, salt and baking powder thoroughly in a separate container. Add this mixture to the masa and mix for 10 to 12 minutes with a hand mixer or table miser. Masa mixture is ready when a tablespoon dropped in a cold glass of water floats to the top. If it drops to the bottom, keep mixing until it does float.



Part 2 Meat Ingredients (prep time 30 min, cook time 1 1/2 hr)

  • 2 lb. port (butt) meat*
  • 1/2 medium onion (diced)
  • 2 tbs. salt
  • 1 whole garlic clove (peeled)
  • 3 cups of water
  • Pepper to taste

* Beef or chicken can be substituted for the pork, ask you grocer's meat department for recommended cuts of meat for tamales.

Part 2 Directions for preparing meat:

To prepare the meat, cut up into 1" by 1" chunks and remove as much fat as possible and discard. Combine prepared meat, salt, garlic cloves, pepper and water and cook for about 1 1/2 hours (20 min per pound of meat), covered on high heat. Once meat is cooked and cooled, the meat needs to be shredded. Drain meat juice (discard or used for masa mixture) and remove and discard garlic cloves. To shred the meat, pull on the meat chunks between two forks flattened on the bottom of the pan, until you have reached the desired consistency of shred.



Step 1

No Masa mixture in top 2"

Spread Masa to the edges

Step 1: Spread Masa mixture over hoja

Step 2

Place 4-5 ounces of meat mixture in the center

Step 2: Spread meat mixture over Masa

Step 3: Fold hojas

Step 4

Link tamales around the outside of the pot, open end up, working your way in towards the center

Step 3: Fold hojas

Step 5

Begin second layer of tamales after first layer has been completed and if not making another full layer, use a folded towel to complete the layer. Cover all layers with a final towel to hold in steam.

Step 3: Fold hojas

Part 3 Sauce Ingredients (prep time 15 min, cook time 15 min)

  • 1/4 lb. whole Chili California or Chili New Mexico peppers *
  • Garlic salt to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbs. cooking oil
  • 1 cup cool water

* Chili Ancho can also be used, or any combination of the two or three chilies depending on your preference for flavor and/or hotness.

Part 3 Directions for preparing sauce:

Cook chili peppers in boiling water for about 15 minutes. Remove from stove and drain off the boiling water, combine with cool water and mix for 1 minute on high in a blender, pout sauce through a strainer to remove the seeds and discard, then stir in garlic salt, salt and oil, add the sauce to the shredded meat, covering thoroughly.

Note: It is important to make sure the meat and sauce mixture is warm or cool to touch for ease of handling.



Part 4 Preparing Tamales (prep time 1 - 1 1/2 hrs, cook time 1 1/2 hrs)

  • Note: It is recommended you have a second person for this step..

Take 1 hoja and put 2 full tbs.(2-3 ounces) of masa mixture on the smooth side of the hoja in the middle. Spread masa mixture about 2" away from the corner point of the hojas all the way to the widest point completely to the edges making an even coating on the hoja (Step1). Place a scoop of the meat mixture (about 4-5 ounces) on the mixture in the center of the tamale lengthwise, leaving about 1/2" of masa not covered at the top and bottom (Step 2), roll up (Step 3), and with water filled to the bottom of the double broiler, place in tamale pot lining tamales close together open end up along the walls in a circular/spiral direction until you reach the center, a second layer can be added right on top of the 1st. layer, then top with a clean damp towel to hold in steam (Step 4 and 5).

Note: If the second layer is not full to the center, fill in the extra space with additional damp towels. Repeat until desired number of tamales is made. Once all of the wrapped tamales are in the tamale cooker, cook for about 1 1/2 hours, on high heat (until you hear the water boiling, then reduce to medium heat or until the masa detaches easily from the hoja).

Note: It is important to make sure the meat and sauce mixture is warm or cool to touch for ease of handling.


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