Pork Tamales with Guajillo and Pasilla Chile Sauce


These are a Holiday Favorite of myself and my husband! Even before we met, growing up it was a tradition for my family to get tamales! I always loved eating them with sauce, cheese, and salsa on the side and I grew up understanding that the process was a lonnnnnnnnnnnggg one, I told myself hell no I am not making tamales, I prefer to just buy them because they’re too complicated! lol Well, here I am telling you TAMALES ARE NOT THAT COMPLICATED! The most complicated part about tamales is the TIME it takes to wrap them…but if you have a little team together ( or a good husband that is hungry and cant wait to eat lol) then it will be a fun process! Just have a glass of wine, beer, or a cocktail next to you lol.


Making the Masa:

  • 6 cups of Masa Harina ( Makes 20-25 tamales)
  • 1/2 lb of lard
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 cups of chicken broth ( or you can mix hot water with chicken bouillon-caldo de pollo).
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter


In a bowl, combine Masa, broth, and salt and combine and knead. Set aside. The texture will feel like a thick, soft corn meal consistency.IMG_4074

In a separate bowl combine lard and butter. Use an electric mixer if you have one. Now combine your lard/butter mixture into the masa mixture. Cover in plastic and set aside. You can sit this in the fridge for up to 3 days or until your pork mixture is finished.IMG_4073

Next, it is time to prepare your pork filling:

I used pork for stew because it is already chopped up! A good friend of mine, Jackie told me about using this and it works excellently! So thank you Jackie!

  • 2lbs of pork
  • a handful of Guajillo and Pasilla Chiles (maybe about 4 cups, but eyeball it)
  • 2 tablespoons of clove
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of cuminIMG_4075 IMG_4076 IMG_4077 IMG_4079

In a skillet, combine pork, cumin, cloves, salt, and pepper with about two tablespoons of oil.IMG_4083 IMG_4087 IMG_4088

Saute till pork pieces are browned. In the meantime, combine your chiles in a pot about 5 cups of water or enough to submerge the chiles, and 3 cloves of garlic. Boil until they’re softened. IMG_4084 IMG_4086

Once they are softened it is time to carefully spoon the chiles into a blender with the water/juices from the pot. I added a handful of chiles with about 1-2 cups of water each time. IMG_4094 IMG_4095

Once all my chiles are blended, if you have one, get your strainer out and strain the chile mixture in with the pork. Like so:IMG_4099 IMG_4100 IMG_4101

Now, it’s time to cook the pork down until tender! I cooked it down for 3 hours!! Perfection takes time!


Now!! Once I cooked the pork down, I shredded it by hand. It was soft enough to do so…but please wait till the pork has cooled down! lolIMG_4111

Now lets ASSEMBLE THE TAMALES!! By the way, make sure you soak your dried corn husks in warm water for at least 10 minutes before you assemble!!

Adding the dough: Lay the husk on a flat surface. Spoon about 1-2 tablespoons of dough onto the husk, depending on the size of the husk. Now use a spoon to spread the dough onto the husk and make sure you leave some space for folding. Spread the dough to the edge of one of the long sides and 2 inches away from the other side. Almost like you’re making a thick circle.

Filling: Spread a couple spoonfuls of filling down the center.

Folding: If the husk is big enough, fold it like a burrito. But when the husk is a smaller husk, i folded it leaving the top of the tamal open.


Tying: Create strips of husks by cutting or tearing. You’re going to use this to tie your tamales once you’re finished rolling them, just so they wont explode!

IMG_4114 IMG_4115

Steaming: Set tamales upright. I recommend buying a steamer, and not trying to create your own, it makes it much easier! The key is to having a small amount of water at the bottom and keep the tamales away from the water!

Steam for 90 minutes COVERED!

IMG_4118 IMG_4119

Once you’re finished steaming, make sure your masa is nice and fluffy! Now pour the rest ( if you have some left) of your chile sauce!! And enjoy with some rice and beans!!



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