Pork Tamales Recipe

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When was the last time you had a tamale?

If you’re like most people, it was probably at a restaurant.

But what if I told you that making pork tamales is not as difficult as you might think?

In fact, with a little planning and patience, anyone can make delicious pork tamales at home.

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9. This article will walk you through the process of making pork tamales, step by step.

We’ll start with a list of the ingredients you’ll need, and then we’ll move on to the cooking instructions.

By the time you’re finished reading this, you’ll be ready to make your very own pork tamales!

Background

This mouth-watering traditional cuisine’s history dates back to 8000 BC.

They were the first complete corn dish made in Mesoamerica.

Today, pork, cheese, and veggies tamales are a favorite Christmas dish for most families in Latin and Central America.

In Mexico, consumers also call pork tamales “tamales rojos.”

Most individuals love Mexican tamales, which are common among all the versions found in the region.

Other regions have adopted the cuisine but have their unique style of cooking.

What is pork tamale?

Pork tamale is a cultural meal of choice, shredded, spiced meat and corn flour baked or steamed in maize husks or banana leaves.

You find this tasty filling wrapped in dough (masa).

The flour is nixtamalized or made from treated and cooked corn.

A tamale comprises three components; masa, filling, and wrapper.

Masa – Typically, chefs still consider a non-stuffed tamal a tamal even if you stop at the masa stage, also known as tamales nejos.

Fillings – You can find other versions of tamales stuffed with beans, veggies, or cheese.

Wrapper–The husks help keep the contents intact and make them easily portable.

The biodegradable packaging allows vendors to keep the tamales rojos warm in coolers.

In Michoacán, Southern Mexico, tamales are wrapped in agave leaves that give the masa a minty, anise-like taste.

In Oaxaca, individuals use plantain leaves which give your tamal an earthy herbal flavor.

What You Need

Filling, Sauce, dough, and wrapper are the essential components that form sumptuous pork tamales.

Below is a breakdown of the ingredients you need to buy.

Ingredients for Filling

●2 ½ pounds lean boneless pork shoulder (salted).

●2 tablespoons of neutral-tasting oil

●1 bay leaf.

Ingredients for Sauce

●Red chile sauce.

●3 tablespoons dried ancho chile

● 1 tablespoon ground cumin

●1 teaspoon dry oregano

●1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder

● 1 ½ teaspoon salt.

Ingredients for dough

●6 cups masa harina.

● 2 cups neutral-tasting oil

●1 tablespoon baking powder

●3 tablespoons chili powder

●1 ¾ teaspoon salt

●2 tablespoons of ground cumin

●5 ½ cups chicken broth or warm water

Ingredients for Wrapper

●45-50 pieces of dry corn husks.

Corn husks and Masa harina are available at most Mexican, Central American, or Latin America grocery stores.

You can also order online from the Amazon store.

It is best to purchase dry masa harina rather than pre-made corn dough.

How to Make Pork Tamales Step by Step

Here are 4 simple procedures you can follow to help you make tasty Mexican pork tamales during your festive season.

Step 1- Prepare the Ingredients

Corn husks – Soak in hot water and ensure that they are tender.

Masa–Make the dough to a nice smooth texture.

Traditionally, Mexican tamale experts taught their family members how to make pork tamales dough using lard.

Sauce – Blend all the ingredients to a smooth paste.

Pork – Add the rich red chile sauce to the pork and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Step 2 – Assemble the Ingredients

Folding the corn husk is a stage when learning how to make pork tamales.

As a matter of fact, putting the components that make the tamales together is an art.

You may need some practice before you can achieve that perfect spread.

With the ingredients above, you can make about 45-50 tamales rojos.

Dry the corn husk–Pour out the water from the corn husks and use a paper towel to pat them dry.

Spread the dough on the husks– First, hold the husk in the palm of your hand or place it on a flat surface.

Next, use a spatula or the back of your spoon to spread the masa onto the bottom half of the smooth side.

Further, smear a thin layer on the top half.

Repeat this process on all the husks.

The more you practice, the better you become at “how to make pork tamales.”

Add the pork filling – Place a spoonful of seasoned pork and spread it evenly in the center of the masa.

Ensure that you do not overstuff it because the filling can spill out when you fold the husk.

Fold the wrapper–Overlap the long end of the corn husk and leave one side open.

You can secure the fold with a thin strap of corn husk for a better display.

However, you can also place the tamales in the steamer without tying and with the open side upwards.

Step 3 – Prepare the Steamer

Fill the pot with water and cover with the steamer insert.

Stack the tamales in the steamer with the open end facing up.

They should lean against the side of the steamer pot and remain in the upright position during the steaming process.

Step 4 – Steam

Keep the lid tightly covered and place the steamer over a medium heat burner or stove..

Simmer the assembled pieces of tamales for about three hours.

You can remove one wrapped pack of tamal and open it up to check if the dish is ready.

The masa will separate from the corn husk and stay firm.

Allow the tamales rojos to sit for about three minutes to cool, unwrap it and discard the husk.

You may top your tamales with either hot sauce or salsa.

Some individuals love to eat this dish with a fork, but many Mexicans use their fingers.

Are Pork Tamales Good?

Yes, tamales contain high amounts of vitamins, protein, zinc, selenium, fiber, and iron that may support your body’s everyday functions.

For example, consuming a 100-gram serving of pork tamales can provide you with about 1.22 milligrams of iron.

This amount is between 7-15 percent of your allowable daily requirement for iron.

The mineral is vital for producing adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is a source of energy for your body.

Consuming chili may promote good bowel movement and digestion.

Chili peppers contain capsaicin that may promote your vascular and metabolic health.

However, you need to consume tamales rojos in moderation because most recipes use chicken broth, salt, and baking powder.

These ingredients contain about 656 milligrams of sodium in large tamales.

Now that you know how to make pork tamales, you can prepare some for your family and friends during your special occasions.

Most individuals prefer to prepare steamed tamales rather than fried ones.

Conclusion

Although pork tamales have some known health benefits, you need to consume this dish in moderation to achieve maximum benefits.

Some minerals in pork tamales, such as sodium, are harmful to your body if consumed excessively.

Finally, you do not need to be an expert to discover how to make pork tamales.

However, making tamales rojos can prove to be time-consuming, but in the end, you and your family will enjoy a sumptuous tasty dish.

Pork Tamales

How to Make Pork Tamales the First Time

Pork tamale is a cultural meal of choice, shredded, spiced meat and corn flour baked or steamed in maize husks or banana leaves.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 1281 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ½ pounds lean boneless pork shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons neutral-tasting oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Red chile sauce.
  • 3 tablespoons dried ancho chile
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups masa harina
  • 2 cups neutral-tasting oil
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • ½ cups chicken broth

Instructions
 

  • Corn husks – Soak in hot water and ensure that they are tender.
  • Masa–Make the dough to a nice smooth texture.
  • Traditionally, Mexican tamale experts taught their family members how to make pork tamales dough using lard.
  • Sauce – Blend all the ingredients to a smooth paste.
  • Pork – Add the rich red chile sauce to the pork and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • Folding the corn husk is a stage when learning how to make pork tamales.
  • As a matter of fact, putting the components that make the tamales together is an art.
  • You may need some practice before you can achieve that perfect spread.
  • With the ingredients above, you can make about 45-50 tamales rojos.
  • Dry the corn husk–Pour out the water from the corn husks and use a paper towel to pat them dry.
  • Spread the dough on the husks– First, hold the husk in the palm of your hand or place it on a flat surface.
  • Next, use a spatula or the back of your spoon to spread the masa onto the bottom half of the smooth side.
  • Further, smear a thin layer on the top half.
  • Repeat this process on all the husks.
  • The more you practice, the better you become at “how to make pork tamales.”
  • Add the pork filling – Place a spoonful of seasoned pork and spread it evenly in the center of the masa.
  • Ensure that you do not overstuff it because the filling can spill out when you fold the husk.
  • Fold the wrapper–Overlap the long end of the corn husk and leave one side open.
  • You can secure the fold with a thin strap of corn husk for a better display.
  • However, you can also place the tamales in the steamer without tying and with the open side upwards.
  • Fill the pot with water and cover with the steamer insert.
  • Stack the tamales in the steamer with the open end facing up.
  • They should lean against the side of the steamer pot and remain in the upright position during the steaming process.
  • Keep the lid tightly covered and place the steamer over a medium heat burner or stove..
  • Simmer the assembled pieces of tamales for about three hours.
  • You can remove one wrapped pack of tamal and open it up to check if the dish is ready.

Nutrition

Calories: 1281kcalCarbohydrates: 99gProtein: 21gFat: 94gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 27gMonounsaturated Fat: 57gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 889mgPotassium: 795mgFiber: 12gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 3500IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 378mgIron: 16mg
Keyword How to Make Pork Tamales the First Time
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