Pork Tamales


Main Dish
Pork Tamales

Primary Media

User Rating

4 out of 5 stars
Rate it:
6 ratings

Recipe Data


Recipe Wellness Badges


    Save Options


    Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish served for special occasions, such as baptisms, first communions, wedding anniversaries and Christmas. Because they’re a bit labor-intensive, share in the fun with a tamalada, or a tamale-making party. With added hands from family and friends, assembling tamales goes much faster.

    Recipe Tags

    Servings and Ingredients

    6 c. Hy-Vee reduced sodium beef broth, divided
    4 dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
    2 dried arbol chiles, stems and seeds removed
    1 (3-to 3½-lb. ) boneless pork shoulder blade roast (pork butt roast)
    2 medium white onions, halved
    1 large poblano chile pepper, stem and seeds removed, halved lengthwise
    6 large whole cloves garlic, divided
    1 tsp. Hy-Vee ground cumin
    1 tsp. Hy-Vee cayenne powder
    ¾ tsp. Hy-Vee salt, divided
    35 corn husks for tamales
    2 ⅔ c. Hy-Vee vegetable shortening
    4 ½ tsp. Hy-Vee baking powder
    8 c. instant corn masa flour
    Fresh pico de gallo, for serving
    Cilantro, for garnish

    Things To Grab

    • Sharp knife
    • Cutting board
    • Medium saucepan
    • 6-qt. slow cooker
    • Medium nonstick skillet
    • Tongs
    • 2 forks
    • 3 medium bowls
    • 2 large bowl
    • Plate
    • Blender
    • Spoon
    • Large nonstick skillet
    • Electric mixer
    • Silicone spatula
    • Steam stand rack
    • 16-qt stockpot
    • Kitchen towel
    • Large baking pan
    • Foil
    • Airtight container or large resealable plastic bag
    • Large rimmed baking pans


    1. Bring 4 cups broth, ancho and arbol chiles to boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and gently simmer, uncovered, for 6 to 8 minutes or until chiles are rehydrated and softened. Transfer chiles to a bowl. Pour 3 cups cooking liquid into a 6-qt. slow cooker; set aside. Discard remaining cooking liquid.

      Hyvee Culinary Expert Tip
      Chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes. When working with hot peppers, wear protective gloves.
      Hy-Vee Test Kitchen
    2. Place meat in slow cooker. Add an additional 1 cup broth, onions, 2 ancho and poblano chiles, 4 cloves garlic, cumin, cayenne and ½ tsp. salt. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 to 7 hours on until pork is fork-enter. Transfer pork to a cutting board; shred using 2 forks. Transfer pork to a bowl. Transfer onions and chiles to another bowl; transfer 4 cups pork cooking liquid to a third bowl. Refrigerate each.

    3. Soak corn husks covered in water for 30 minutes or until playable.

    4. Place remaining 2 ancho chiles, arbol chilies in a blender. Add 1 cup reserved pork cooking liquid, reserve onions and chile mixture, 1 cup beef broth and remaining 2 cloves garlic. Blend until puréed.

    5. For chile sauce, press puréed mixture through a fine-mesh sieve; set aside. Discard mixture in strainer.

    6. Transfer 2 cups chile sauce to a large nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until begins to bubble. Add shredded pork and heat through; set aside.

    7. For masa dough, beat shortening, 2/3 cup chile sauce, baking powder and remaining ¼ tsp. salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high for 2 to 3 minutes or until combined. Slowly beat in 4 cups masa flour and 1½ cup reserved pork cooking liquid on low or until combined. Repeat slowly beating in remaining 4 cups masa flour and remaining 1½ cup reserved pork cooking liquid. Mix dough with hands until pliable.

    8. Tear 5 husks into 30 long strands; set aside. Place remaining husks, smooth side, up on a flat surface. Spread 1/3 cup masa dough ¼ in. thick in center third of each husk, spreading to edges of husk. Spoon 1½ Tbsp. meat mixture in a lengthwise strip in the center of each dough. Fold one long side of husk up and over filling, then unfold; repeat with other long side. Fold short, narrow end of husk up and over filling; fold over long sides. Twist and tie open end closed with husk strands.

    9. Place a steam stand rack inside a 16-qt. stockpot; add 1 to 2 in. water so water is just below rack. Stand half of the tamales upright on rack. Cover tamales with a damp kitchen towel cloth; cover stockpot. Bring water to a simmer; steam for 1 to 1½ hours or until tamales remove easily from husks and masa dough is steamed through, adding more water if needed. Transfer tamales to a baking pan; tightly cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat steaming remaining tamales.

    10. Serve tamales with pico de gallo and sauce and remaining chile sauce. Garnish with cilantro.

    11. To Store: Cool tamales. Store in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag in refrigerator up to 1 week; or in freezer up to 1 month. To serve, thaw in refrigerator overnight, if frozen. Wrap each tamale in foil; place in a single layer in a large rimmed baking pans. Reheat in a 425°F oven for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.

    Nutrition facts


    710 Calories per serving
    2 tamales

    Amounts Per Serving

    • Total Fat: 47g
    • Cholesterol: 40mg
    • Sodium: 370mg
    • Total Carbohydrates: 54g
    • Protein: 17g

    Daily Values

    Iron 10%
    Calcium 8%
    Vitamin D 6%
    Potassium 10%