Red chile pork tamales

Tamales aren’t a thirty-minute meal by any means. When I was growing up they were a two-day process: one day spent cooking the meat filling and another day to prepare the actual tamales.

•4 pound pork roast
•8 oz dried red chile pods
•3 cloves garlic, peeled
•dried corn husks
•chile powder
•garlic powder
•onion powder

I bought my masa prepared at a local grocery store. If you have a Hispanic grocery near you, I’d check to see if they sell masa or even go to a Mexican restaurant and try to buy some from them. If not, a basic recipe can be found here. For a vegetarian/kosher tamale, replace lard with shortening.

To make red chile sauce, take dried red chile pods, rinse and remove stems and seeds.



Put cleaned pods into a large pot of boiling water, cover and boil for 20 minutes. Put 3 garlic cloves and softened pods into a blender with some of the chile cooking water and purée, adding more water as needed. Salt to taste.

I seasoned my pork roast with cumin, garlic, onion, oregano, chile powder and salt and cooked in my crock pot for about 6 hours on low. I let it cool a little and then shredded the pork and added some red chile purée to it.


Taste and add salt as needed. This stuff should taste amazing!!

Soak corn husks in warm water until pliable. Start assembling!


Place a golf-ball sized chunk of masa on a husk. Flatten with fingers or plastic wrap until 1/4 inch thin or thinner.

Place meat filling in center of masa and fold tamale.




Tie with a small piece of husk. Repeat.

I made 4 dozen tamales with this recipe before I ran out of pork roast.

Place tamales in steamer and cook for 25-30 minutes.

Let them cool a bit, grab a fork and dig in!



Tamales freeze very well after they are steamed. Plan on making plenty – they won’t last long!

Alternate filling suggestions:
Roasted chicken and poblano
Roast beef and chipotle
Black bean, corn and cumin
Green chile and cheese

The sky is the limit!


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