Tender pulled pork, smoky red chile sauce, rich corn masa—this traditional Mexican tamale recipe is a true labor of love, and definitely worth the effort!
Traditional Red Chile Pork Tamales
Side Dish , Dinner
Prep Time: 60 minutes, Cook Time: 5 minutes
- 1 (5 to 7 lb.) pork butt or shoulder roast
- 1 tablespoon garlic and pepper seasoning blend
Red Chile Sauce:
- 20 New Mexico dried chilies, seeds and stems removed
- 1/2 yellow onion, large dice
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons pork lard
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/3 cups pork lard
- 4 cups dry masa mix
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 4 cups chicken broth, heated
- 1 package dried corn husks
- 1 cup crumbled queso fresco
- 1 cup roasted red chili salsa
- 1/2 cup toasted pepitas
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Rub garlic pepper evenly over pork, arrange in roasting pan, cover and roast for 3 hours, or until tender.
- Transfer roast to a separate container; strain pan juices and reserve for sauce. Cool pork roast slightly. Trim excess fat and pull pork into 2-inch shredded pieces. Reserve.
RED CHILE SAUCE:
- Combine dried chile peppers, onion, chipotle pepper, garlic, cumin, oregano and salt in saucepan. Combine reserved pork roast pan juices with water (as needed) to equal 3 cups. Add to saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Cool. Transfer to food processor fitted with a steel blade and puree until smooth.
- Heat lard in a skillet over medium-low heat; add flour and whisk until golden. Add pureed red chile sauce to skillet; simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Combine pulled pork and red chile sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning. Reserve.
- In a mixing bowl, whip lard until fluffy.
- Add masa mix, baking powder, salt and chili powder; mix until just blended.
- Add 3 cups chicken broth and mix until smooth. Add additional chicken broth, as needed, to achieve a spreadable consistency.
- Bring a large pot of water to boiling, remove from heat, add corn husks, cover and soak for 30 minutes or until pliable. Drain husks and pat dry.
- Spread 2 to 3 tablespoons masa in upper center of each corn husk (about 1/8 inch thick). Spoon 2 tablespoons filling lengthwise down the center of masa. Fold left and right sides of husk over filling (wrapping the masa around the filling) and roll closed.
- Fold up the bottom of husk to seal, leaving the top end open. Place, seam side down, on a baking sheet.
- Repeat with remaining tamales. Transfer remaining pulled pork filling to oven proof dish, cover and reserve as a topping for steamed tamales.
- Add water to a large pot with steamer insert. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce to a simmer (making sure water is not above steamer). Arrange tamales vertically, open side up, in steamer.
- Cover and steam for 1½ hours. Check tamales; masa filling should easily pull away from husk when fully steamed.
- While tamales are steaming, heat remaining pulled pork in preheated oven at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes, or until warm.
- Serve unwrapped tamales topped with warm pulled pork filling, crumbled cheese, a drizzle of roasted red chili salsa and toasted pepitas.