Mexican Tamales

"30 years ago my ex invited a couple over for a BBQ. It was actually to teach me to make authentic tamales. t was one of the good things he had done--ok,probably the only good thing! LOL Time is very difficult to judge. I do the crock pot prep over night, so cooking time is steaming time."
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photo by katie in the UP photo by katie in the UP
photo by katie in the UP photo by katie in the UP
Ready In:
1hr 45mins




  • Place all filling ingredients into a crock pot and cook on low 8 to 10 hours. (I usually do this procedure overnight).
  • When meat is done, remove meat from sauce and shred in bowl this give you the opportunity to remove the fat out of the meat.
  • Run sauce through sieve to remove skins of chiles, garlic and etc. Your sauce should be thick and a beautiful deep red color! Reserve 1 cup of meat sauce for the tamale dough.
  • While meat mixture is cooling, place husks in warm water to soften.
  • Mix all the ingredients of tamale dough plus 1 cup reserved meat sauce together (I do this in my kitchen aid -- makes the job much easier!).
  • Take approx 3 tbsp of dough and place in the middle of corn husk. Spread thinly place filling in the middle with an olive and wrap until dough meets, the Woman who taught me how to make these -- says an olive in the middle brings good luck!
  • Fold ends and roll package so that corn husk has covered all of filling.
  • Place in steamer. Steam for 40 minutes.
  • Spoon sauce over tamales on plate.
  • These freeze very well. I freeze after they are steamed so the prep of dinner is quick, I do know those who freeze before they are steamed and it seems to work as well.

Questions & Replies

  1. What goes into the crockpot


  1. The taste of these was good, but we would prefer a lot more spice. It is a great starter recipe. This was my first time making my own and it was easier in some ways than I thought. It can be a little time consuming, but once you get going (espeically folding the tamales) then it isn't too bad. I didn't really understand how to fold them so I did what we do now days....I googled a you tube video of some people folding and it was GREAT!! I did have to add a little more sauce/broth to my masa to make it the right consistency (in one of the folding videos an older mexican lady said it should be wetter than most people make it). I did mine like hers and they came out PERFECT!! I wasn't sure when I tried opened them right after being steamed, but I let them cool a while and came back...they unrolled perfectly and stayed together great! Almost all of my kids loved them! The crockpot and the food processor definitely made doing this less intimidating for a beginner. Thanks so much!!
  2. I had heard how difficult tamales were to make. It wasn't that hard! I used a 10x10 inch piece of parchment paper to roll the tamales, since that's what I already had on hand. It worked great-no soaking time either. I'll use this again to use up leftover meat.
  3. OMG!!! I'm very picky when it comes to tamales..... but these where amazing!!! These were almost if not not better than my g-ma's! Thank you so such for posting this. The only thing I did different was I used the left over chiles and garlic with a tomato and some of the juices to make an additional sauce to put in with the meat.
  4. Great recipe, hen my neighbors found out what I was doing they ate them all and drank all my beer. Great and simple to make . I used my pressure cooker for the pork took about 1 hour to cook.
  5. Easier to put together than i thought. my .02 is that you cook the meat in a crockpot one day and then shred and then place back into the sauce for a bit to marinate all of the meat. I used a pork shoulder and it worked out great but i wanted a little more flavor to be all the way through, and i think you meant teaspoons not table spoons for the dough so that you can get 36 out. i jsut used as much as each husk would hold and i did not get near so i think i was trying to make it to thick. but stil easy to make and put together plus good flavor and smell off the meat. i will make this again with very minor modifications.


  1. This is a great recipe, Lots of work....but worth it. I used beef broth instead of chicken, thanks.



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