90 Reviews

Very time consuming be warned. I baked a roast yesterday and planned on using the leftovers for tamales today. From start to finish ( I shredded the meat yesterday) I was in for about 4 hours plus cooking time. I steamed mine for about 2 hours. First time making tamales and they turned out great. I got almost 40. Used with the red sauce listed in the description of this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

1 person found this helpful. Was it helpful to you? [Yes] [No]
truckerboo November 03, 2009

The pork filling is delicious, but I have a few tips to help make it better. First off, there must be a typo because you should be steaming the tamales for more than 40 minutes--it should be about 2 hours at least. If you try to remove the tamales before that, the masa dough will still be raw. Also, you do not have to go through the trouble of making your own dough, many stores already have it prepared so that you can save yourself time (and it tastes just as great). When spreading the dough on the corn husk, you should not spread it everywhere on the husk but rather spread it all the way to one edge and leave about 1/3 empty so that you can fold it easily. I would also suggest to make more mole sauce to add to the pork so that the tamales are more juicier (which my family likes). And lastly, if you have a crock pot, cook the meat overnight so that it lessens the workload for when you make tamales. Other than that, this is a pretty good recipe.

1 person found this helpful. Was it helpful to you? [Yes] [No]
Flaquis from S. Ca August 12, 2009

I'm going to say it.... are you ready? THIS IS THE BEST RECIPE ON ZAAR!!!!! I am so darn happy to have made tamales and the fact that they are melt in your mouth delicious is a total bonus. The Hutchinson family now has a new tradition--homemade tamales just like we get in Costa Rica for Christmas! I used every drop of masa and meat and made 38 tamales. THANK YOU!!!

1 person found this helpful. Was it helpful to you? [Yes] [No]
ihvhope December 21, 2008

Yum! I made a pork batch and a beef batch. We think the masa needed a little bit more salt, though. Overall, it was great and we'd definitely make it again!

1 person found this helpful. Was it helpful to you? [Yes] [No]
blairie January 02, 2008

I have always liked traditional mexican tamales until I tried tamales from El Salvador. The biggest difference if that they wrap their tamales in banana leaves, and they cook the masa first before assembling the tamales. First you mix the broth and the masa (no shortening) then you add 4 tablespoons margarine, 1/3 cup corn oil and cook it over high heat stirring constantly and vigerously until the masa fluffs up and no longer has a gritty texture. They are the most delicious and moist tamales I have ever had. If interested message me and I will email my sister in law's recipe for salvadorean tamales as it is too long to post on here, maybe one day I will post. This is a great recipe however if you like traditional mexican tamales!

1 person found this helpful. Was it helpful to you? [Yes] [No]
Tiny_Toodles December 28, 2007

Fantastic! My daughter and I thought the meat and the masa both needed a little extra salt.

1 person found this helpful. Was it helpful to you? [Yes] [No]
LoriLee in TX December 24, 2007

These came out wonderful! I enjoyed the class in the forums too! I followed Muffin Goddess' advise and used ice-cream scoops to measure out the masa. Everyone loved these

1 person found this helpful. Was it helpful to you? [Yes] [No]
cookiedog December 03, 2006

Wow, I can't believe that I forgot to review this before now! Anyway, I have made these two times, once entirely by hand (oof!), once with my new Xmas toy (Kitchenaid Artisan stand mixer, yay!). Although they came out pretty good by hand, I definitely recommend using an appliance for best results with the masa, both for ease of preparation and texture of the masa. The tamales that I made using the mixer were 10 times better than the hand ones, per DH. I added one large black olive to each tamale when wrapping (supposed to be a good luck thing?), and I also forgot to measure out 4 cups of the red chile sauce and dumped the whole batch into the pork, which I find that I actually prefer. Another thing that made them better the second time around was that I referred to Alice Guadalupe Tapp's "Tamales 101" for technique pointers (this is a great little cookbook for tamale lovers, and it offers a lot of technique along with a bunch of recipes for all kinds of tamales). Of course, I didn't need the recipe for red chile pork tamales because I already had this one, I just needed a few diagrams and pointers for assembly and such. Oh, and I used two different sized cookie scoops to portion out the masa and filling for each tamale, which quickened things up quite a bit, I think. As further testimony to how good these are, only 1.5 dozen of the 5.5 dozen tamales I made actually made it into the freezer (and I think that DH ate all but 8 of the ones that didn't make it to the freezer, not in one sitting though! LOL). I will definitely make these again (maybe just for holidays though, because of labor-intensiveness). Thanks for posting!

1 person found this helpful. Was it helpful to you? [Yes] [No]
Muffin Goddess January 16, 2006

I don't know why people say it takes days to make tamales...but it does take awhile spreading the masa in the corn husks. I loved this recipe and I will never buy tamales again. However I did use a different sauce recipe (straight from a Mexican friend)...You take 3 or 4 dried ancho peppers, boil them back to life, then take out the seeds and stem, throw them in the blender, add salt, pepper and dried oregano. Add water to the mix until you get the desired thickness. It was way easier than I thought!

1 person found this helpful. Was it helpful to you? [Yes] [No]
Tiffanylsu October 20, 2005

This was my third year trying Tamales, which I am making a Christmas tradition. My first two attempts they came out a little bland. Then I came across your recipe. These were excellent. I doubled the recipe and made almost 100 small tamales. I gave some away and we gobbled up the rest in no time. None of my family ever grew tired of them. I have found my keeper. Thanks for all the help!!!

1 person found this helpful. Was it helpful to you? [Yes] [No]
LizAnn December 29, 2003
Traditional Tamales (Pork)