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How to Make Pork Tamales

How to Make Pork Tamales

How to make pork tamales

These tamales combine succulent pork with the deep flavors of enchilada and taco sauce, all wrapped in a soft, steamed masa dough. Perfect for gatherings or a weekend project, we will guide you through the tradition of tamale-making, one delicious step at a time.

I married into a Mexican family. This was a culinary culture shock at first – Mexican food for the holidays? Yup.

Today, my love for Mexican food is nothing short of an obsession. I never can get enough of it.

After our grandmother passed away, it seemed only fitting to carry on the tradition and keep making tamales. That first year, we had zero clue what we were doing, but we adapted, changed things, fused things and now we make tamales our way – and they are absolutely delicious.

Over time, we’ve found methods to make it easier and have learned a couple tricks along the way.


Step by Step Guide to Making Pork Tamales


Ingredients Preparation:

1. Start by preparing the pork. Opt for a pork shoulder or pork butt, trimming off any excess fat. This cut is ideal for its flavor and tenderness, making it perfect for tamales.

Tip: It’s advisable to slow-cook the pork the night before. Mix it with a blend of enchilada and taco sauce in a slow cooker and let it tenderize overnight. This not only infuses the meat with rich flavors but also simplifies the process for the next day.

How to make pork tamales


2. For the masa, you’ll need corn flour, lard, beef stock, enchilada sauce, and a pinch of salt for seasoning.

Tip: Utilize a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment to combine your masa ingredients. This tool is invaluable, saving you time and sparing your arms from fatigue. Aim for a consistency slightly firmer than hummus for optimal texture.

How to make pork tamales


3. Prepare your corn husks by soaking them in hot water in a large stockpot, ensuring they become pliable for wrapping. They should soak for at least 30 minutes.

How to make pork tamales


Assembling the Tamales:

1. Once your masa has chilled for about 30 minutes, begin assembling your tamales. Lay out a soaked corn husk and spread about 2 tablespoons of masa into a circle in the center. Add 1-2 tablespoons of the slow-cooked pork mixture on top of the masa.

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How to make pork tamales


2. To wrap, fold the corn husk over the filling, then fold in one end and roll it tightly. Secure the tamale by tying it with cooking twine, ensuring all parts of the husk are neatly tucked in. Tie batches of five tamales with cooking twine.

Tip: There are several methods to wrap tamales, but this technique ensures they stay closed during steaming and makes them easier to handle.

How to make pork tamales


3. Place your wrapped tamales in the steamer basket, positioning them upright to ensure even cooking. It’s crucial that the folded part of the tamale faces down to prevent the filling from spilling out during steaming.

How to make pork tamales


Cooking:

  1. Fill your pot with water just below the steamer insert, bring it to a boil, then carefully place your tamale bundles into the pot. Cover and steam for about an hour, or until the masa firm and easily pulls away from the husks.Tip: Steaming tamales is the final step that brings everything together. Make sure to check the water level occasionally during steaming to ensure it doesn’t run dry.

Serving:

  1. Allow the tamales to cool slightly before serving. They can be enjoyed as is or with a side of salsa, guacamole, or your favorite dipping sauce.

Must-Have Items:


  • Large Stock Pot with Steamer Insert
  • Cooking Twine
  • Stand Mixer with Dough Hook
  • Slow-Cooker

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How to make pork tamales

How to Make Pork Tamales


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4.5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Lindsay Garza
  • Total Time: 11 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 dozen 1x

Description

These tamales combine succulent pork with the deep flavors of enchilada and taco sauce, all wrapped in a soft, steamed masa dough. Perfect for gatherings or a weekend project, we will guide you through the tradition of tamale-making, one delicious step at a time.


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Meat:

  • 2 pounds boneless pork butt, fat trimmed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Large pinch of salt & pepper
  • Water to cover the meat
  • 1/2 cup enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 cup taco sauce

For the Masa:

  • 1 pound masa
  • 1/2 cup melted lard
  • 1/2 cup enchilada sauce
  • 1/4 cup taco sauce
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup meat broth (plus more as needed)

Additional:

  • Corn husks

Instructions

Ingredients Preparation:

  1. Start by preparing the pork. Opt for a pork shoulder or pork butt, trimming off any excess fat. This cut is ideal for its flavor and tenderness, making it perfect for tamales.Tip: It’s advisable to slow-cook the pork the night before. Mix it with a blend of enchilada and taco sauce in a slow cooker and let it tenderize overnight. This not only infuses the meat with rich flavors but also simplifies the process for the next day.
  2. For the masa, you’ll need corn flour, lard, beef stock, enchilada sauce, and a pinch of salt for seasoning.Tip: Utilize a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment to combine your masa ingredients. This tool is invaluable, saving you time and sparing your arms from fatigue. Aim for a consistency slightly firmer than hummus for optimal texture.
  3. Prepare your corn husks by soaking them in hot water in a large stockpot, ensuring they become pliable for wrapping. They should soak for at least 30 minutes.

Must-Have Items:

  • Large Stock Pot with Steamer Insert
  • Cooking Twine
  • Stand Mixer with Dough Hook
  • Slow-Cooker

Assembling the Tamales:

  1. Once your masa has chilled for about 30 minutes, begin assembling your tamales. Lay out a soaked corn husk and spread about 2 tablespoons of masa into a circle in the center. Add 1-2 tablespoons of the slow-cooked pork mixture on top of the masa.
  2. To wrap, fold the corn husk over the filling, then fold in one end and roll it tightly. Secure the tamale by tying it with cooking twine, ensuring all parts of the husk are neatly tucked in.Tip: There are several methods to wrap tamales, but this technique ensures they stay closed during steaming and makes them easier to handle.
  3. Place your wrapped tamales in the steamer basket, positioning them upright to ensure even cooking. It’s crucial that the folded part of the tamale faces down to prevent the filling from spilling out during steaming.

Cooking:

  1. Fill your pot with water just below the steamer insert, bring it to a boil, then carefully place your tamale bundles into the pot. Cover and steam for about an hour, or until the masa firm and easily pulls away from the husks.Tip: Steaming tamales is the final step that brings everything together. Make sure to check the water level occasionally during steaming to ensure it doesn’t run dry.

Serving:

  1. Allow the tamales to cool slightly before serving. They can be enjoyed as is or with a side of salsa, guacamole, or your favorite dipping sauce.

Notes

  • Consistency of the masa is key. If it’s too dry, add more broth; too wet, add more masa.
  • Ensure the corn husks are well soaked for easy wrapping.
  • Tamales are ready when the masa separates easily from the husks.
  • Prep Time: 60 mins
  • Cook Time: 630 mins
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Steaming
  • Cuisine: Mexican

 

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