Xochipilli's Ancho Pork Tamales

Total Time
2hrs 30mins
Prep 1 hr
Cook 1 hr 30 mins

This traditional Mexican recipe uses an nontraditional cooking method. Time does not include marinating or standing time. From a local Mexican restaurant.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Prepare Basic Masa Dough up to three days ahead, and refrigerate in an airtight container.
  2. Basic Masa Dough: Combine chicken broth and ancho chiles in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH for 2 minutes or until chiles are tender; cool slightly, Combine broth mixture and corn in a blender; process until smooth.
  3. Lightly spoon masa harina into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine masa harina, salt, and baking powder, stirring well with a whisk. Cut in lard with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add broth mixture to masa mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Cover and chill until ready to use.
  4. Tamales: Place corn husks in a large bowl; cover with water. Weight husks down with a can; soak 30 minutes. Drain husks.
  5. Combine broth, cherries, and ancho chile in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave at HIGH for 2 minutes or until cherries and ancho are tender. Combine broth mixture, onion, and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) in a blender; process until mixture is smooth. Reserve 1/2 cup broth mixture; cover and chill. Place remaining broth mixture in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add pork; seal and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour, turning bag occasionally.
  6. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  7. Remove pork from bag, and discard marinade. Place pork on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450F for 30 minutes or until a thermometer registers 155F (slightly pink). Let pork stand 20 minutes; shred pork with 2 forks. Toss shredded pork with reserved 1/2 cup broth mixture.
  8. Working with one husk at a time, place about 3 tablespoons Basic Masa Dough in the center of husk, about 1/2 inch from top of husk; press dough into a 4-inch-long by 3-inch-wide rectangle. Spoon about 1 heaping tablespoon pork mixture down one side of dough. Using the corn husk as your guide, fold husk over tamale, being sure to cover filling with dough; fold over 1 more time. Fold bottom end of husk under. Place tamale, seam side down, on the rack of a broiler pan lined with a damp towel. Repeat procedure with remaining husks, Basic Masa Dough, and filling. Cover filled tamales with another damp towel. Pour 2 cups hot water in the bottom of a broiler pan; top with prepared rack.
  9. Steam tamales at 450F for 55 minutes, adding water as necessary to maintain a depth of about 1/2 inch. Let tamales stand 10 minutes. Serve with sauce and lime wedges, if desired.
  10. Can be frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat in microwave for 2 minutes.
Most Helpful

4 5

My guests enjoyed these and they were really pretty once opened with the green masa from the anchos. Next time I would reserve out even more of the sauce for the filling.