New Mexican Pork Tamales

These tamales are great topped with green chile sauce, chili con carne, or cheese and onions if desired.



  • 1 1/2 pounds pork loin or other tender, lean cut, fat removed
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup dried ground chile (Chimayo if available)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon oregano


  • 1 (6 ounce) package dried corn husks
  • 6 cups Masa Harina
  • 2 cups oil
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 4 1/2 cups water or more as needed


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place pork and onion in med. baking dish and cover with water. Bake for approximately 1 1/2 hours or until meat pulls apart easily. Remove pork from broth. Refrigerate broth. When cool, shred meat with 2 forks or with dough blade of food processor. Strain broth after fat has solidified on surface. (All of this can be done day before.) If the broth doesn't measure 2 cups, add water to make 2 cups of liquid. Reserve pork and liquid.
  3. In large skillet, heat oil, add minced garlic and pork. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir constantly for about a minute as the flour begins to brown. Add ground chile, broth and seasonings. Cook over medium-low heat until thickened and almost dry, stirring regularly, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Prepare corn husks by submerging in bowl or baking pan of hot water for 30 minutes. Separate husks and rinse them under warm running water to wash away any grit or brown silks. Soak them in warm water until ready to use.
  5. Prepare masa. Measure Masa Harina in large bowl. Add water, while stirring. Add oil and salt and stir well. Use spoon, powerful mixer, or your hands. When well blended should have the consistency of moist cookie dough. If it begins to dry out, add more water. Cover with damp cloth if necessary.
  6. Assemble tamales. Spread dough on smooth side of husk with back of spoon to about 1/2 inch from side edges, 1 inch from top edge, and 2 inches from bottom edge. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of filling down center. Roll husk over so that masa covers filling and should come loose from husk. Then roll up husk and fold bottom end under. Repeat until all masa and filling is used. Stand tamales loosely packed in a steamer/blancher/spaghetti cooker, or lay flat in a crisscross pattern so steam can penetrate effectively. Cover pot and steam for about 1 hour to 1 1/4 hours or until the masa is firm and pulls away from husk easily.
  7. Serve tamales warm in the husks.

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