Roasted Pork Tamales

Serves: 60 tamales



  • 4-5 pounds pork shoulder
  • 15 dried Guajillo chiles (these are mild chiles, so if you want something a bit spicier, I suggest a hotter chile)
  • 6-8 cups hot water (for soaking the chiles)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2½ teaspoons oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Salsa Verde

  • 1 pound fresh tomatillos (alternatively, you can use the pre-roasted tomatillos in a can)
  • 1 shallot (or ¼ an onion), peeled and cut in half
  • 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 2-3 jalapeno peppers (I used 2; if you like it spicy, use 3, if you like it mild, use 1)
  • large handful of cilantro
  • juice of ½ a lime
  • ⅛ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black peppe r


  • 1 1/2 cup shortening or lard
  • 4 cups masa mix
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 4 cups good quality stock from pork or chicken


  • 60 dried corn husks (this is more than you need, but you will need extras for tying the tamales with and it’s good to have some extras in case you mess up)
  • prepared masa (recipe above)
  • 4-5 pounds roasted pork (recipe above)
  • 2 cups salsa verde (recipe above – feel free to use store bought salsa if you’re short on time)



  1. Rehydrate your chiles by preheating oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Cut stems off of your chiles, and shake out seeds.
  3. Bake for 5-8 minutes, until the chiles are just beginning to blacken.
  4. Place in a large bowl and cover with hot water and cover.
  5. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove with tongs and place them in a food processor or a blender, along with about 1½ cups of water that the chiles were soaking in, the peeled garlic, the oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper flakes.
  7. Pulse until you have a very smooth puree. Set aside.
  8. Remove any large bits of fat, skin, or bone from pork.
  9. Cut into pieces about the size of your hand. Place the pork in a sealable bag and pour in the chile marinade.
  10. Seal and shake.
  11. Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  12. When the pork is ready, preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
  13. Place your pork and the rest of the marinade in a baking dish and cover tightly.
  14. Roast for 3½ – 4 hours, until tender.
  15. When ready, move the pork to a cutting board and leave the juices in the pan.
  16. Shred the pork, then chop it a bit, if you like.
  17. Add in about half of the juices that are still in the pan and toss the pork in a large bowl.
  18. Set aside until ready to use in the tamales.

Salsa Verde

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. If you’re using fresh tomatillos, peel them and rinse them under hot water to remove any stickiness.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the washed tomatillos on it.
  4. Alongside the tomatillos, place the peeled and cut in half shallot, the unpeeled garlic cloves, and the washed jalapeno pepper.
  5. Roast for 8-10 minutes in the oven, until the garlic is golden and the jalapeno peppers are just beginning to blacken.
  6. Remove the shallot, garlic, and jalapeno pepper and set aside.
  7. Continue to roast the tomatillos for another 5-8 minutes, until beginning to blacken on the bottom.
  8. Cut the tops off of your jalapeno peppers and peel your garlic. Place the peppers, shallot, and garlic in a food processor or blender, then add in the tomatillos, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Pulse until smooth, taste, adjust seasonings as needed, and set aside until ready to use. Makes about 2 cups of salsa.


  1. With an electric mixer, beat your shortening until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. In a separate large bowl, combine the masa mix, baking powder, and salt. Add the masa mixture to the shortening, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you beat it in to be sure that everything is combined evenly. Set aside until ready to use.


  1. Arrange all of the corn husks in a large bowl and cover with hot water.
  2. Place something heavy on top of the husks, such as two ceramic bowls so that the husks are submerged and soaking for at least 30 minutes, but as long as two hours.
  3. Drain the water from the bowl and set aside until ready to use.
  4. Set out your corn husks, your masa, your roasted pork, and your salsa verde.
  5. Pick out a sturdy corn husk (one without tears or holes) and, using a spatula or a large, flat spoon take about 2-3 tablespoons of masa.
  6. Start about an inch or two down from the top of the corn husk and spread the masa down the corn husk as evenly as you can.
  7. Now, add about 2-3 tablespoons of pork on top of the masa, followed by about 3 teaspoons of salsa on top of that.
  8. Fold or roll (whatever is easier for you) the tamale so that it is sealed, then fold in both ends of the corn husk. Alternatively, you can fold the tamale only on one side, leaving one end open.
  9. Use a corn husk that has a tear or hole in it for the strands to tie the tamale. Simply peel a strand of the husk from top to bottom, then secure the folded ends of the tamale by tying it around the ends.
  10. Steam for 1 hour.

Mexican Red Chile Sauce

YIELD Makes about 6 cups


  • 6 ounces whole dried guajillo chiles
  • 8 cups boiling-hot water
  • 6 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano minced
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 4 teaspoons Sherry vinegar, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoon sugar, or to taste


  1. Rinse chiles and split open, discarding stems, seeds, and ribs.
  2. Heat a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over moderate heat, then toast chiles, skin sides up, in batches, about 30 seconds (be careful not to burn them, or sauce will be bitter).
  3. Transfer chiles as toasted to a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over them. Cover bowl and soak chiles, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 15 minutes.
  4. Purée chiles with three fourths of soaking liquid, reserving remainder, in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Pour purée through a coarse sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids, and discard solids. Whisk reserved soaking liquid into chile mixture.
  5. Cook onion, garlic, cumin, and oregano in oil in a large heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring, 2 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Whisk in chile mixture and simmer, partially covered, whisking occasionally, until reduced to about 2 1/2 cups, about 30 minutes. Season with salt, vinegar, and sugar.

Pineapple Pecan and Coconut Rum Tamales

Yield 32 Tamales


  • 36 dried corn husks
  • 4 cups masa harina (instant corn flour)
  • Kosher salt
  • 28 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cinnamon stick
  • 1 Pineapple, peeled, cored and finely diced
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 4 tbsp coconut
  • 3 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup rum
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped


  • Soak the corn husks in a bowl of hot water, using a plate to keep them submerged, until pliable, 1 hour.
  • Dough: Mix the masa harina and 2 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add 20 tablespoons butter and 1 1/2 cup warm water and mix with the paddle attachment until combined. Add the granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, the almond and vanilla extracts and ground cinnamon; mix until combined, about 1 more minute. Add coconut milk slowly until you get a peanut butter like consistency. Cover and refrigerate.
  • Filling: Simmer 1 cup water and the cinnamon stick in a saucepan until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Melt the remaining 8 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons brown sugar and cook, stirring to dissolve, about 1 minute. Add the pineapple, coconut, honey and cinnamon water, including the cinnamon stick; cook, stirring, until the mixture is almost dry, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat. Add the rum, then return to medium heat. Cook until the pineapple is slightly caramelized, about 3 minutes. Stir in the pecans; set aside to cool.
  • Spread on to 4 inch wide husks about ¼ inch thick leaving an inch from the wide end and 2 inches from the bottom end. Steam for 40 minutes and let cool slightly before serving.
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