Pork Tamales

A little variation here from the traditional, in that this is 100% my own personal recipe for the pork mixture. I also prefer beef broth in the masa as compared to chicken broth. But I think you'll agree these are some darn good tamales.

Prep Time:
45 mins
Cook Time:
5 hrs 10 mins
Additional Time:
1 day
Total Time:
1 day 5 hrs 55 mins
15 tamales


  • 15 corn husks, or as needed

Pork Filling:

  • 2 dried guajillo chile peppers, seeded

  • 1 cup beef broth

  • 1 cup tomato sauce

  • ¼ medium onion, minced

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon ground cloves

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 (4 pound) boneless pork butt (shoulder)


  • 2 cups masa harina

  • 2 tablespoons baking powder

  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 cups beef broth

  • cup lard, at room temperature


  1. Soak corn husks in water for 24 hours prior to cooking, using something heavy to keep them submerged.

  2. Prepare pork filling: Place guajillo chile peppers in a dry skillet over medium heat; dry roast until fragrant, 20 to 30 seconds per side. Pour some water over top and simmer until tender, about 2 minutes. Remove chiles from the skillet and transfer to a blender.

  3. Add beef broth, tomato sauce, onion, garlic, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, vinegar, cloves, salt, cumin, allspice, and pepper to the blender and process until smooth.

  4. Place pork butt in a slow cooker and pour marinade over top. Cook on Low until pork is tender and can be easily pulled apart with a fork, 4 to 5 hours. Shred pork and return to the slow cooker. Mix with the sauce until combined.

  5. Combine masa, baking powder, garlic powder, and salt for dough in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; whisk to combine. Add beef broth and lard and whisk well; the resulting mixture should have an almost fluffy consistency and be relatively tacky.

  6. Roll out a corn husk and pat it dry. Spread the dough evenly in the center of the corn husk, leaving room around the edges. Dollop a line of pork filling down the center. Fold the bottom of the husk up, then fold one edge over the filling. Tuck that edge under the filling and dough, and roll toward the other edge to seal around the filling. Fold the top down and tie with kitchen string, wrapping twice to secure. Repeat to make remaining tamales.

  7. Place a steamer insert into a large saucepan and fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer. Bring water to a boil.

  8. Place tamales vertically into the steamer basket, with the sealed edges down. Cover the pan and steam for 1 hour. Serve hot.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

411 Calories
31g Fat
15g Carbs
18g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 15
Calories 411
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 31g 40%
Saturated Fat 11g 56%
Cholesterol 78mg 26%
Sodium 2474mg 108%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 6%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 18g
Vitamin C 2mg 12%
Calcium 161mg 12%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 420mg 9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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