Traditional Pork Tamales

Recipe by Sherri L.
READY IN: 5hrs
YIELD: 25 Tamales




  • To prepare the meat: Place the meat in a glass dish.
  • In a small bowl mix together salt, cumin, paprika and nutmeg.
  • Rub the spice mixture all over the meat and marinate for about 4-6 hours. If you can marinate overnight, even better.
  • In a Dutch oven on medium, heat the olive oil and sear the meat until slightly brown on all sides. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves and chicken stock.
  • Cover and cook for about 2-3 hours hours on low or until fork tender. Turn the meat and baste it every 20 minutes or so. Add the cilantro.
  • Place meat on a large cutting board and allow it to cool slightly. Shred using two forks. Place in a bowl. Add the olives and the raisins and mix well.
  • Save the broth and strain it, you will need it to add to the masa. Add the strained solids back to the meat mixture and toss out the bay leaves.
  • To make the dough: In a small bowl mix chili powder, salt, and olive oil and set aside.
  • Place the masa in a large bowl and add the baking powder. Mix well.
  • Add the cooled broth from the cooked meat to the masa and then the chili powder mixture.
  • To assemble: DO NOT OVERFILL, or you will not be able to properly close up the tamales.
  • Pat dry the corn husks as you use them.
  • Place a corn husk in your hand with the tapered end facing you.
  • With your hand, pinch off a chunk of dough and put it in the center of the husk. Flatten it out a little bit.
  • Take approximately a tablespoon of the filling and place it on top along the length of the dough.
  • Cover the filling with another chunk of dough.
  • Fold both sides of the husk inward so they overlap. Take each end and flip inwards towards the center. You will end up with somewhat of a rectangle.
  • Tie using kitchen twine, as though you were tying a parcel.
  • Steam for about 35 minutes.
  • To make sure tamales are ready, take one out, cut the twine and unwrap. Tamales are ready if the corn husk peels away easily.