Pork and Red Chile Tamales

In Spicy Main Dishes by Mark MaskerLeave a Comment

These are some of the most common tamales in the Southwest. They can be found in restaurants, cafes and in the coolers toted by strolling vendors. Everybody loves them, so make a bunch and freeze any leftovers. This recipe makes enough pork filling to make another batch of tamales, but you can always just use the extra pork for burritos.


•    1 recipe Basic Masa
•    2 1/2 pounds boneless pork butt, trimmed of excess fat
•    6 cloves garlic, peeled
•    1 teaspoon black peppercorns
•    2 bay leaves
•    1 teaspoon salt
•    1 recipe New Mexico Red Chile Sauce
•    At least 36 softened corn husks, plus 36 strips for tying



  1. Arrange the pork butt in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed stockpot. Add the garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves and salt. Pour over it enough cold water to cover by several inches. Turn the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, about 2 hours.
  2. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and allow it to rest 20 minutes. Using 2 forks, shred the meat. In a bowl, combine 2 cups of the shredded pork with enough red chile sauce to thoroughly moisten the meat.
  3. To assemble the tamales, spread about 1/3 cup dough onto the center of each corn husk. Spoon several tablespoons of the shredded pork filling down the center of the dough. Fold and tie the tamale; repeat with the remaining ingredients and husks.
  4. Steam the tamales for 1 hour and serve with the remaining New Mexico Red Chile Sauce.
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Managing Editor | Mark is a freelance journalist based out of Los Angeles. He’s our Do-It-Yourself specialist, and happily agrees to try pretty much every twisted project we come up with.

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