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Mexican pork tamale filling recipe

Mexican pork tamale filling recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Pork
  • Cuts of pork
  • Pork shoulder

A tamale is a Mexican and Native American dish consisting of a soft cornmeal (masa) dough filled with meat, cheese or vegetables, then steamed. You can always use this pork filling for tacos, burritos or enchiladas, as well.

30 people made this

IngredientsServes: 16

  • 450g (16 oz) pork shoulder roast
  • 600ml (1 pint) water
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt to taste
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 1 dried red chilli

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:1hr ›Ready in:1hr20min

  1. Trim fat from pork. Cut into large pieces and place in a large saucepan. Add water, onion, garlic, bay leaf, salt, peppercorns and chilli. Bring to the boil; skim foam from surface. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
  2. Drain stock, let meat cool and shred with a fork. Refrigerate overnight if desired.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(28)

Reviews in English (23)

by ggvp

What a great recipe! This is easy to make and good in corn or flour tortillas with a little hot sauce. My family loved it!-15 Sep 2008


I cooked this for use with tamales, but my children were so enticed by the smell, they kept eating it and wouldn't leave it alone! They just LOVED it, plain.-15 Sep 2008


This tastes really good. I preferred the pork to beef in tamales when I made both.-15 Sep 2008

Recipe Summary

  • 1 ¼ pounds pork loin
  • 1 large onion, halved
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 dried California chile pods
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup lard
  • 1 (8 ounce) package dried corn husks
  • 1 cup sour cream

Place pork into a Dutch oven with onion and garlic, and add water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until the meat is cooked through, about 2 hours.

Use rubber gloves to remove stems and seeds from the chile pods. Place chiles in a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, then remove from heat to cool. Transfer the chiles and water to a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the mixture, stir in salt, and set aside. Shred the cooked meat and mix in one cup of the chile sauce.

Soak the corn husks in a bowl of warm water. In a large bowl, beat the lard with a tablespoon of the broth until fluffy. Combine the masa harina, baking powder and salt stir into the lard mixture, adding more broth as necessary to form a spongy dough.

Spread the dough out over the corn husks to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. Place one tablespoon of the meat filling into the center. Fold the sides of the husks in toward the center and place in a steamer. Steam for 1 hour.

Remove tamales from husks and drizzle remaining chile sauce over. Top with sour cream. For a creamy sauce, mix sour cream into the chile sauce.

Recipe Summary

  • For pork:
  • 2 pounds bone-in pork shoulder or pork shoulder chops
  • 1 white onion, halved
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • For red chile salsa:
  • 12 guajillo chiles
  • 1 white onion, quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • About 1 tsp. salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • About 1/2 tsp. pepper

Cook pork: Put all ingredients for pork in a large heavy pot and add enough water to cover pork. Bring to a boil, skimming foam periodically, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer until a paring knife slides in easily, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove from heat and let cool. Lift out meat and onions (reserve broth for tamale dough if you like, and the onions for soup) and tear meat into bite-size shreds, discarding bones and excess fat. Rinse out pot and reserve.

Make salsa: Snip chiles open with scissors. Remove stem, seeds, and any white membranes. Add chiles, onion, and garlic to a pot with 3 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in cloves, cumin, and 1/2 tsp. salt. In 2 batches, whirl in a blender until smooth.

In same pot you used for pork, heat oil over medium-high heat. Pour in salsa and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook 15 minutes. Add shredded pork, remaining 1/2 tsp. salt, and the pepper and cook until salsa is thick and clingy and flavors are incorporated, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Mexican Tamales Recipe

Place the tamales standing up in your steam pot Tamalera add about an inch of hot water cover with corn husks aluminum foil or a. In Mexico Chihuahua or Oaxaca cheese is used but those cheeses are hard to find here so you can substitute with Monterey Jack.

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Cover bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.

Mexican tamales recipe. Assemble The Pork Tamales Place a small amount of the dough in the center of a corn husk. Keep assembling the rest of the tamales. This authentic Mexican recipe for homemade tamales is straight from Mexico.

Tamales are stuffed with a spicy tomatillo sauce with poblano chiles and cheese – delicious. Add the tomatoes onion guajillos pasillas garlic and 4 cups 960 ml of water to a small pot. Mexican Tamales originated from Mesoamerica which stretches from southern Mexico to Guatemala.

Tamales trace back to the Aztecs and the Mayan people. Transfer the vegetables to a blender Add salt and pepper to taste the cumin and about ½ cup 60 ml of the cooking. Using the back of a spoon spread the dough and top it with 1 ½ tablespoon of the.

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Cook the pork

In a large pot on medium heat with the vegetable oil, sear the cubed pork shoulder on all sides, then add in your chopped onion and six cloves of minced garlic, and cook until the onions are golden. Add in the blended chilis, and slow cook the pork on low heat for approximately three hours. You'll know it's done when you're able to pull the meat apart easily with a fork.

When it's finished, remove the pork from the heat, and place it in a large tray. Shred the entire shoulder with a fork, and set off to the side.

Southwestern Tamale Recipes

Authentic Beef Tamales
Basic Tamale Dough
Carnitas Tamales
Chicken Tamales
Chicken-Tomatillo Tamales
Chile Rellenos Tamales
Chipotle Beef Tamales
Cornmeal Tamales
Filling and Steaming Corn Husk Tamales
Golden Tamales
Green Chile Cheese Tamale Filling
Green Chile and Shredded Chicken Tamales
Green Corn Tamales 2
Hot Chorizo Tamales
New Mexican Pork Tamales
Pina Colada Tamales
Pink Tamales
Pinon-Cheddar Tamales
Pork and Red Chile Tamal
Pork Tamale Filling
Pork Tamales in Banana Leaves
Pork Tamales
Pumpkin Tamales
Pumpkin Tamales Filled with Shredded Beef and California Raisins
Raspberry Tamales
Spicy Shredded Pork Tamales
Strawberry Tamales
Sweet Blackberry Blue Corn Tamale
Sweet Pineapple Tamales
Sweet Tamales
Sweet Tamales with Cinnamon Fudge Sauce
Tamale Balls
Tamales 2
Tamales de Chocolate
Tamales de Rajas con Elote
Tamales Dulce
Tamales Dulce (Sweet Tamales)
Tasty Tamale Frittata
Traditional Pork Tamales
Zucchini and Corn Tamales

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Green Chile Tamale Filling

Cooking time to prepare the ingredients for this filling is the time to roast the peppers, which is 5 to 8 minutes under the broiler or over charcoal or in the microwave.

  • 1 cup roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped fresh green chiles
  • 3 cups shredded Oaxaca string cheese or shredded Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup green cooking sauce, homemade or from a jar

Additionally, mix 1/2 cup whole corn kernels into the dough.

What Goes into this recipe

  • Masa — Although masa can be purchased pre-made, I think it's important to learn how to make it from scratch. Once you know how to make masa from scratch, you can then compare it to store-bought to see which one you prefer.
  • Tamale Fillings — There are many tamale fillings including pork, beef, and chicken, as well as sweet and vegetarian tamales. However, in this recipe, we'll be making a pork tamale filling.
  • Dried Chilis — Dried chilis are not only used to flavor the broth but are also used to make a chili sauce puree that is mixed both in the masa and the filling. Which chilis you use depends on your spice preference. Here are some options:
    • Ancho (dried poblano)
    • Chipotle (dried/smoked jalapeno)
    • New Mexico Chilis
    • California Chilis
    • Colorado Chilis (dried Anaheim)

    To learn more about the level of heat of various chili peppers, check out this informative post: Chile Heat Scale.


    I’m a big Bayless fan and am ready to start making tamales. I wanted to read the reviews on my new smart phone but instead I gave this recipe two stars and haven’t figured how to undo..sorry.

    />Casey Cora says:

    Quite alright, Esperanza. How did the tamales turn out?

    My tamales came out perfect! The hardest part was keeping my family away from the tamales until they had cooled and firmed up.

    This is an easy recipe for tamales.

    Am making these tamales now and the house smells wonderful. Tasted the birth the pork is cooking in, and it’s so good! Will post more in a few hours when done.

    lmao..the “birth”the pork is cooking in” but i love Rick Bayless, his shows are the BEST, and his recipes always turn out perfect for us.

    How many dozain tamales will 16 pounds of pork make ??

    Holy Pork! That would make 21 dozen tamales!

    I use a couple of tablespoons of meat in my tamales. So 16 lbs eould not make thatmany in my house. Msybe 12-13 fozen.

    Oops! I think you may have misread Alma – this recipe calls for 1 pound of pork!

    what exactly is your idea of a green olive? salty brine or vinegar or ??

    I am sooo happy to find this recipe. All others talk about using “prepared masa” which is what you can purchase from a grocery store or Mexican market. I don’t have any place that sells it here, so I have to start with the masa harina, which is the corn flour. It has to be reconstituted to become the masa… then you can follow the rest of your recipe to make your tamale dough. Even the bag of masa harina does not tell you how much liquid it takes to reconstitute it. So thank you so much!

    most stores now across the country carry masa harina. just ask! Kroger is one of the biggest chains in the country and they have a complete line of Mexican products.

    Yeah, not so much in rural Montana…

    I love your recipes. They are the best. I get so many compliments from my family and friends. Thank you Rick! I love the show you did on the coco beans and how they are prepared. do you make your own vanilla and what beans do you use most often?


    Cooking your tamales. If you have a tamale steamer pot you add boing water to the bottom half and stack the tamales standing up in a cicular layers with the open side up. Then on top of those another circular row always standing up the open side facing up. Pour the hot water down the side when adding more water. The tamles should never be emersed in water they cook by steaming. Cover the layers with loose tamles husks and a clean dish towel over everything and then cover. Enough water should be at them bottom to steam the tamlaes for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Some people steam only one hour but when I make tamales I have so many in the pot that I steam for one hour and a half to ensure complete cooking. Be sure you are always nearby so the water does not run out. If the water goes down add more boiling water down the side of the pot. After the time has elapsed shut off and uncover the pot let cool. You can remove with tongs as the tamales will be extreemly hot. When they have cooled you can bag and freeze Some tmes I bag 12 to or 6 to a bag. I always save some to eat the next day you can refrigerate. Always leave your tamales in the husk when freezing remove the husk only to eat. You can eat in the microwave only needs a minute or so to reheat.

    If you have no tamale steamer you can use a large regular steamer pot such as a crab pot or large lobster pot. Put a large bowl in the middle and some sort of preforated pie pan on top. My grandmother had two large aluminum pie tins that she had my grandfather put holes in all around. She put the pie tin over the bowl so the tamlaes would be above the water. She then would stack her tamales standing up inclining a little towards the center in a cicular position. She would put a large mug in the middle of the pie pan so the tamales could rest aganist it and work around stacking the tamales. I know this recipe will not be made by everyone but for those who have asked good luck and Enjoy.