Tamales Mexican Style

I must admit I love the Mexican Tamale, when I was in the U.K. I had an online business selling them , tamalesonline when I started I was the first person selling them, but after a year or two other people jumped on the bandwagon, any way I sold a lot especially around Easter and Christmas time, I even supplied some Tofu ones to the BBC for one of their programs.

Tamales Mexican Style

A atsty snack from Mexico
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Course: Snack
Cuisine: Mexican, Tex Mex
Keyword: chicken, corn husks, masa harrina, Pork
Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours
Servings: 20 each
Author: Marten
Cost: $1.00


  • pasta steamer
  • large saucepan
  • Measuring spoons


  • 1 kilo Masa Harrina
  • 1 kilo Pork
  • 2 tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 300 gr Lard
  • 1 tbsp Dried Oregano
  • 2 large Onions
  • 30 each Corn Husks
  • 2 tbsp achiote paste
  • 1 tbsp baking powder


  • In a plastic container cover corn husks with cold water soak for at least 2 hours.
    Fry onions till nice and browned add pork, salt, garlic, achiote, cumin and oregano in a large stockpot. Pour in 3 pints of water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, covered, until pork is fall apart tender, about 2 hours should do.
    Remove pork from pan reserving the stock. When cool enough to handle, remove bones and skin discard. Shred the pork.
    Strain cooking juices.
    For the masa, using a stand mixer beat lard or shortening until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. add baking powder then slowly mix in small amounts of masa harina alternately with small amounts of reserved stock, once you have the masa at about the consistancy of peanut butter you should be done.
    Drop a small amount of masa into a cup of cold water, the masa should float. If not, continue beating, keep checking until it does.
    To make the filling, heat some oil in a large saucepan, take a cup of masa and stir in 3 cups of the remaining stock. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixed 7-9 minutes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 45 minutes, add the meat and mix well.
    Drain corn husks and pat dry. On the wide end of each husk, spread about masa about 5mm thick to within 1/2 in. of side edges, top each with 2 tablespoons of the filling. Fold long sides of husk over filling, then fold over narrow end of husk. Place tamales upright in steamer. I use a pasta steamer fits about 20 tamales. Bring to a boil, steam, covered, adding hot water as needed, after around 60 mins check tamales, unwrap one, if the husk comes away cleanly you are done.


A neat trick put a coin into the bottom of the steamer, once boiling the coin should rattle, if it stops you need to top up the water so you dont boil dry and burn your tamales.
You can eat the tamales as soon as they are cooked or wrap tightly in cling film once they are cool and store in freezer for up to six months. To use out of freezer allow to thaw and steam for 10 mins using a steamer basket.
You can use chicken, beef or beans as your filling your choice.


Serving: 150g

I hope you enjoy these a bit of work but really worth the effort.