Mexican Tamales

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Mexican Tamales

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1 pack corn husks
6 pieces large dried ancho chilis
18 ounces pork shoulder or collar, cubed
1 large onion chopped
6 cloves garlic minced
8 ounces lard
4 cups masa flour
3 cups Vegetable Stock
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoons cumin powder
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 Lime
  • Medium




Mexican Tamales are one of those foods that when you eat it, you are transported back to the streets of Mexico… all the sounds, smells and of course, the amazing flavours! To make this Mexican street food, you will need dried corn husks, masa flour and whatever flavourings you want (shredded pork shoulder being the most popular.) The filling of cooked masa is steamed right inside the corn husk and then enjoyed with salsa or just on its own.

These Tamales are indeed a labour of love, but if you want to put in the work, it will be well worth it. This is a great activity for families to do together, like they do in Mexico!

How to Make Mexican Tamales:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, soak the corn husks in water while preparing other ingredients.
  2. Soak the ancho chiles in 2 cups of water for about 10 minutes until soft.
  3. In a blender, mix the ancho chilies and water until it makes a smooth paste.
  4. Sear the pork shoulder cubes in a large pot on medium with the vegetable oil. Then, add the onions and garlic, and cook for 15 minutes until onions are golden.
  5. Add in the blended chiles, and slow cook the pork for at least 3 hours on low until tender enough to pull apart with a fork.
  6. Whisk the lard in a stand mixer until light and fluffy.
  7. Then, add the masa corn flour, vegetable stock, baking powder, salt, and cumin, and mix together until a smooth and wet dough forms.
  8. When the pork is cooked, remove it from heat, and place it in a large tray, and shred the pork with a fork.
  9. Remove the corn husks from the water, and squeeze to remove most of the water.
  10. Spread a thin layer of masa on the bottom ⅔ of the corn husks, then spoon a line of pork filling in the middle.
  11. Fold up the tamale from both sides to seal the meat filling in the center, and then fold the bottom closed.
  12. Stack the tamales vertically in a steamer basket or in a large pot with a steamer insert.
  13. Fill up the pot with water until just under the steamer basket, and steam for about 1½ to 2 hours, or until they are all fully cooked and easily separate from the corn husk.
  14. Let tamales rest for 20 minutes before serving hot with a wedge of lime.

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