Tamale Time {w/recipes}

Okay, day 2 of tamale making resulted in a few pictures, lots of tamales in the freezer and lots of fun time with friends!!


post steamed

I have been making these beauties for about a year now, after learning from my mom and her husband Louie Martinez … yeah, he learned from his family.  They are good!!


First, the key to good tamales is figuring out the Masa.  I buy my mix at Walmart – I look for the mix that says tamales on it.

Then, you need a good mixer, Kitchen Aid or a Bosch, hand mixer will not cut it.

The recipe on the package is not right.  Remember this. 

It calls for entirely too much liquid.

I used the following:

2 cup of Masa Mix

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt (this is conservative)

2/3 c. butter (or lard) – I mix these and use both

1-1 1/2 cups of liquid*

Optional (but not really)

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

2 tsp cumin

** Liquid : I use the juice from the cooked roast.  I also simmer dried peppers (also found at Wal-Mart of a Mexican food store) for about 1-2 hours to rehydrate.  Then you puree these with the water you simmered them in, and then strain it.  This offers lots of flavor.  If you use roast juice strain that too, and if you can chill and take the fat off the top.

1.  When you mix it all together, you mix for a while.  This is a bit vague, but you want the consistency to be like creamy peanut butter.  Smooth, not dry and tough.  It should spread very easily.



I cook my roast in the crock pot.  I pour the pureed pepper mix (before straining it) over the top, also a jar of salsa.  I cook it about 12 hours.  This time we had so much pork, that we cooked a roasting pan in the oven with 2 more roasts – I did the same.  Poured the salsa on top and the puree.

Once the meat is done cooking, cool and then go through and get all the fat out of it – you do not want that.

This year, I learned from Pinterest to shred chicken in a Kitchen Aid.  I used that advice and put my pork into the Bosch and put the mixer on and let it shred my meat.  It was wonderful!!  It looked like this:

shredded pork

the big chunks in the front are what all the meat looked like in the past, but if you can see the rest is very  finely shredded like you would find in tamales you bought.

(if you have left over pork when you are done, this will make wonderful pork tacos!!)

Next, soak your husks in the sink in boiling/very hot water.  The longer the better.  20 minutes will do, an hour is better.


corn husks soaking

Once you do all that.  Spread some masa on the husk (sorry, I have no picture)  but it should be under the pork, then on the sides to wrap around.  Then you fold in the sides, and then fold the bottom up.

ready to steam

we cook ours in a big tamale steamer.  I bought it sometime this year and have used it many times.  It is worth the investment, and they are cheap – about $20.

I have almost 4 dozen Green Corn in the freezer and about 4 more dozen pork going in the freezer in the morning.  Yummy!!

Let me know if you have any questions – we love homemade tamales.

These are pretty mild, but you could spice them up by adding it to the pork and the masa.

Good luck!!

homemaking link up


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