94 Reviews

Wonderfully written, simple, and concise instructions. I have only a couple critical points for, what is otherwise, a nearly perfect rendition of the recipe my Mexican aunt taught me years ago. First, shortning? Seriously? Do yourself a favor and go for the gusto: Lard! 100% Lard! The second criticism, in the linked recipe for Red Chili Sauce, the use of cumin is instructed. While cumin is a wonderful thing and very necessary in many Mexican, Indian, and other ethnic dishes, it is NOT FOR TAMALES. If not for the addition of cumin and omission of lard, this would nearly be a five star recipe--Aunt Dorothy's recipe being the standard, of course. *** Tamale Tips: If your tamales come out doughy, try increasing the fat content, remember to also always allow the tamale a few minutes to rest/set after steaming before removing from husks, and, never cheat on the steam time. Also, though steaming prior to freezing is not unacceptable, I find the overall integrity of the tamale is better maintained by freezing them uncooked, then steaming immediately prior to being served. Nuking does something to the flavor and texture that detracts from the culinary perfection of having been freshly steam-cooked. Just posting these tidbits as a lifelong fan of my favorite--and the worlds best--food, the tamale.

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David S #2 October 17, 2014

This is not a "traditional" or authentic mexican tamale recipe since you used shortening instead of lard. Shortening causes tamales to be very dry instead of moist and flavorful as those made with lard would be. Anyone who has had very good authentic tamales knows the difference.

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azwagyu July 14, 2014

I think the talames turned out great! Not quite sure about the cook time only being 40 minutes. Mine took a little over 2 hours to fully steam and set up. But they were still really good. Will be making them a lot!

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kandi6381 January 03, 2012

I've made this recipe twice and both times the tamales have turned out AMAZING! The first time, I followed the directions exactly and used the recommended tamale sauce, and it was really good. I ended up freezing a bunch of tamales and steamed them again to make a quick dinner. I used canned enchilada sauce each time I did this.

The second time, I didn't want to take the time to make the tamale sauce, so I used 2 10oz cans of mild enchilada sauce and 1 10z can of hot enchilada sauce. Turned out very good!

I love these tamales and the recipe is pretty easy, especially the second time!

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The Milocat January 17, 2011

These were very good. I made the meat in a slow cooker the day before and finished them the next afternoon. It was a bit of work to wrap so many, but it is worth the effort. My family says I have to make these again.

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Tuckman December 31, 2010

My husband and I decided that we would make tamales for something different to do on date night...wow! We actually impressed ourselves with these!! I thought we would share all of the extras since the batch was so big, but they are too good not to eat ourselves!!

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mia.caroline September 17, 2010

We substituted the masa harina with a boxed cornbread mix. It was delicious, added a little sweetness. Took a few to get the folds down, but once we got going it was a lot of fun.

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Ryan K. July 12, 2015

Just made this recipe yesterday. It is great, authenic, delicious.
I have been looking for a good recipe for years but now that search is over. I made it exactly like the recipe here. I may play with it someday but for now it is by far the best I have ever had. I have eaten many tamales and these are number 1 in my book. Oh I used the sauce recommended too. I made it just like the recipe called for and it was wonderful. Actually it makes the whole recipe without that sauce you don't have much so use that too.

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Doyle O. January 14, 2011

I had never made tamales before. These were absolutely fabulous...well worth the time and effort! Thanks for sharing what will now be a staple in our house!

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Backwoods Foodie November 14, 2010

Fabulous. Tastes just like the ones I get (when I'm lucky) from a neighbor family from Mexico. I'm not a master by any means, but all my work was worth it. Thanks, Karen.

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mksmith May 26, 2010
Traditional Tamales (Pork)