Mexican Pork Tamales

Mexican Pork Tamales


1 lb of lean pork roast, shredded
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, cut in half
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
2 ancho chilies, seeded and membranes removed
8 Guajillo peppers, seeded and membranes removed
2 tomatoes, roasted in oven in oven for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.
2 tsp oregano
2 whole cloves
l lb of masa dough (masteca) available at Latin markets
5 tbs lard or vegetable shortening
1 large banana leaf (available frozen at Latin markets)
Optional dried corn husks soaked in water for 30 minutes, and string for tying.

In Oxaca in Mexico tamales are traditionally wrapped in Banana leaves instead of dried corn husks. For the purposes of this recipe you may wrap them in your choice of wrapping.

  • You may roast pork in oven covered for 3 hours or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Alternatively you may add pork butt or roast to a large stock pot along with onion and bay leaf and bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for  1 and 1/2 hours.
  • Shred meat and reserve stock.
  • Toast the chilies and place in a bowl, and cover with warm water and soak for about 30 minutes.
  • Take the roasted tomatoes, remove skins and puree in the blender.
  • Drain the chilies and transfer to a blender along with some of the stock, tomatoes, onion and garlic and puree until smooth.
  • Melt 1 tbs of lard or vegetable shortening in a saute pan and saute the puree from the blender for  about 5 minutes.
  • Add the shredded pork and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
  • In a large bowl add the masa and 2 tbs of lard along with a pinch of salt and mix and knead until combined.
  • Cut banana into 8 inch squares.
  • Add 2 tbs of the masa mixture atop the banana leaves then a scoop of the pork mixture.
  • Fold the banana leaves like burritos the  wrap in aluminum foil tightly.
  • If you are using corn husks, tie them closed with butchers twine.
  • Once all tamales are made add them to a large steamer and steam for 45 minutes.
  • Remove and serve.


10 min


3 hr


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