Pork Tamales

Prep Time:
3 hours
Cook Time:
2 hours
8 dozen


2 (6 1/3 oz.)pkgsdry corn husks,


1pound (2 cups)lard,

1cupvegetable shortening,

2tablespoonsbaking powder,

4poundsrefrigerated fresh stone-ground corn masa,

2cupschicken broth or water,


2tablespoonschili powder,

2tablespoonsgarlic powder,

*Pork Filling:,

8dried ancho chiles,

12dried cascabel chiles,

5cupschicken broth or water,

5poundsH-E-B Fully Cooked Pork Roast,

4teaspoonsground cumin,

4teaspoonsground oregano,

5teaspoonsgarlic powder,



1Soak corn husks in hot water 2 hours or overnight. The husks float, so push or weight them down.

2For Masa (Dough): Prepare dough in 2 batches. For each batch, whip 1 cup lard, 1/2 cup shortening and 1 tablespoon baking powder in a large bowl using a mixer. Divide masa into two equal parts. Break half the masa into small pieces and add to whipped lard. Combine 1 cup broth with 1 tablespoon EACH salt, chili and garlic powder; stir well. Beat lard and masa 3 minutes. Slowly pour broth mixture into masa with mixer running on low speed. Beat 2 minutes until light and fluffy (when 1/2 teaspoon of dough floats in a cup of cold water). Repeat this process with the remaining ingredients. Set masa aside to rest 30 minutes or cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

3For Pork Filling: Remove stems and seeds from chiles. Tear into small pieces and place in a large bowl. Bring 5 cups broth or water to a boil. Pour over chiles and let sit 30 minutes. Cut pork roast into 3-inch chunks; remove bone and trim away excess fat. Heat pork in a covered microwave-safe dish 5 minutes. Shred pork by pulling apart with two forks. Puree chiles with soaking liquid 1 minute using a blender or food processor. Add cumin, oregano, garlic powder and salt and process until smooth. Combine chili sauce and shredded pork in a large pot. Cook 15 minutes over Medium heat, stirring often, until liquid has almost cooked away, but meat is still moist. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Pork filling may be prepared up to 1 day in advance.

4To Assemble: Drain corn husks and pat dry with paper towel before spreading with masa. Lay a husk on a flat surface with the pointed end away from you. Using a butter knife or spatula, spread a scant 1/4 cup masa evenly into a 4-inch square, 1/8-inch thick. Leave at least a 1 1/2-inch border at the pointed end and at least 1-inch borders along the sides. (Masa may be spread thicker according to personal preference.) Spoon 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons filling down center. Bring long sides of husk together to enclose filling. Roll husk flaps the same direction. Fold tail without masa under and place on a tray with folded end down. (Tamale may be tied with strands of husk for a water-tight packet). If filling is visible, seal with a dab of masa. Steam tamales immediately or refrigerate up to 3 days. Freeze up to 1 month in sealable plastic bags.

5For Steaming: Use tamale pot or place steamer rack in the bottom of a large, deep pot. Add water to reach, but not cover rack. Stand tamales in pot with folded end down, leaving room for tamales to expand. Fill large gaps with crumpled foil to prevent tamales from falling down. Cover tamales with extra husks to retain steam. Cover pot with lid. Bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to Medium-Low and cook 1 1/2 hours (add 1/2 hour if frozen) or until masa comes away from husks intact. Replenish pot with boiling water if going dry, using care not to get tamales wet. Remove from heat. Let tamales stand in covered pot 30 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information

No Nutritional Information Available

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