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Red Chile and Pork Tamales

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Red Chile and Pork Tamales

1 1/2 pound Shredded Pork (recipe below)
2 1/2 cups Red Chile Sauce (see Recipe)
2 Tablespoons chile caribe, toasted
Masa Dough (recipe below)
16 corn husks, soaked in warm water until pliable (1 to 2 hours)
Shredded Pork
5 pounds pork shoulder or Boston butt, cut into fist-sized chunks
2 Tablespoons SFSC Chipotle Seasoning
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Masa Dough
3 cups masa harina
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound (1 1/4 cups) lard or shortening
2 to 3 cups chicken stock or water

Makes about 16 Tamales

Season the meat with chipotle seasoning, salt, and pepper, and sear in a heavy skillet until well browned. Place in a covered roaster and bake at 375 degrees for 2 1/2 to 3 hours until fork tender. (Or place in a pressure cooker with 2 cups of water or stock and cook for 35 minutes at 15 pounds pressure until tender).

Cool and shred.

Masa Dough
In a medium bowl, mix masa harina and salt until well combined. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the lard on medium-high speed until fluffy. Slowly add the dry ingredients by heaping spoonfuls and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Slowly add the stock or water and continue to beat on medium-high for 5 to 7 minutes, or until fluffy. Test by dropping 1/2 teaspoon into a glass of cold water. If it floats, it’s ready to be formed into tamales. If it doesn’t float, continue to beat on medium-high to incorporate air.


Technique of Making Tamales

Published in our Flavors of the Southwest Cookbook

To Soften Corn Husks:

Soak in warm water or overnight or immerse in boiling water for an hour. Drain.

To Assemble:

Place 1 to 2 Tablespoons of prepared masa in the center of a softened corn husk and spread it into a rectangle. Add several teaspoons of filling down the center of the masa. Fold one side of the corn husk over the filling. Fold the opposite side of the folded side. Tie the ends of the tamales with a piece of corn husk torn lengthwise like string, or alternatively, fold both ends of the tamale up and secure with a strip of the husk, forming more of a rectangle.

To Cook:

Fill the bottom of a steamer with 2 to 3 inches of water and drop a pebble in the bottom. Place the basket in the steamer and line it with some extra corn husks. Place the tamales in flat layers on the corn husks and cover the tamales with a few more of the husks so they don’t dry out.

Cover the steamer with its lid. Bring the water to a boil and cook the tamales for 45 to 50 minutes, or until they feel firm to the touch and the husk easily peels away from the masa.

Listen to the pot while it boils; the pebble with make a noise on the bottom of the pan. If the pan boils dry, you will not hear the noise—a signal to add more water. Let the tamales rest for 5 minutes and serve.

Shopping for Ingredients

Many of the ingredients for our recipes are available directly from the Santa Fe School of Cooking. Shop Ala Cart or Purchase all the Ingredients as a Package.

Ingredients and Tools available at the School of Cooking

(3 oz.) - $8.00
(3 oz.) - $8.50
(4 oz.) - $8.95
(Tamales (course) grind 14 oz. can ) - $9.00
- $62.00
Total Cost: $96.45

Other Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pound Shredded Pork (see recipe)
  • 2 1/2 cups Red Chile Sauce (see recipe)
  • Masa Dough (see recipe)
  • Shredded Pork
  • 5 pounds pork shoulder or Boston butt
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Masa Dough
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound (1 1/4 cups) lard or shortening
  • 2 to 3 cups chicken stock or water