Monday, March 22, 2010

Tamales Recipe

The other day I made hot tamales!!! Some of you might not know what an amazing thing it is, specially when its your first time cooking them. Sooner or later I had to make them, as is one of my favourite Mexican foods!!.. Tamales are a very authentic Mexican dish made from a starchy corn-based dough, which is wrapped in husks and cooked through steaming. For the filling you can use a variety of things, such as meats, cheese, vegetables, chillies, refried beans, etc!

Tamales origin tracks back since 5000-8000 BC. They were discovered by the Spanish conquistadores when they first arrived to Mexico. Historians say that Aztecs and Mayan civilizations used tamales as a portable food often given to their armies or eaten by hunters and travelers.

I believe it tastes amazing and it has been made the same way for more than a 1000 years which is actually pretty cool. In Mexico we really love tamales and consider them one of the most traditional and authentic dishes out there. We love tamales so much that we have more than 500 different types of tamales available all around the country. Annual consumption is approx. about hundreds of millions!! I think those numbers are correct as I contributed to a big chunk of that just before moving to Canada!!..

Tamales are a favourite comfort food in Mexico eaten as both; breakfast and dinner. Some people like to eat them while drinking hot Atole or Champurrado which is a corn-based beverage. ME, 'nah' I prefer a good cup of hot Cocoa!! Tamales are sold everywhere, even street vendors can be seen in every corner serving them from huge, steaming, covered pots "tamaleras".

The most common fillings are pork and chicken, in either red or green salsa. And for dessert you can also have TAMALES, there is a sweet way of eating it!! And that is a "Tamal de Dulce" which is just pink colored sugar added to the corn mix and filled with raisins or other dried fruit.

Today I am sharing with you a recipe for tamal filling;

Pork in Red Salsa

1 1/2 lbs of pork tenderloin
1 onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp Cajun pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 red chillies seeded and chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 tbsp of tomato paste
2 cups of pork stock
2 tbsp flour
Salt and Pepper


Place the Pork on an oven safe dish. Add the onion and 1 clove of garlic to the pork and cover it with water. Cook for 2 hours at 375F. When the pork tears apart super easily it means its ready. Let the pork cool until you are able to shred the pork with your hands. On a frying pan at medium high heat, drizzle the oil. Add the 3 remaining cloves of garlic and let it cook for 1 min. then add the shredded Pork, Paprika, Cajun Pepper, brown sugar, chillies, cumin, flour and cook for a couple of minutes until everything is mixed together. The add the tomato paste and cook again for another couple of minutes. Finally add the stock left on the dish where you cooked the pork. And let it simmer until its reduced by half.

To prepare pork with salsa verde just cook the pork the same way and instead of adding all the condiments when placing the shredded pork in the frying pan, just add flour, cook it for a couple of mins and Finally add salsa verde and a cup of the stock.



  1. Me encanto tu pagina y sobre todo tus recetas, saludos desde Mexico!!

  2. Great Recipe.I don't know why I haven't made Tamales sooner.The filling prep time could be greatly reduced if your meat was preserved in a pressure canner ahead of time.The canning process cooks the meat at 250 degrees,so even less expensive cuts of meat are tender,and with just a quick stir becomes shredded as in this recipe.We preserve alot of different meats by canning in a pressure cooker and it really does allow the tougher cuts to be used in place of the loin for recipes and leaves your choicer cuts for Grilling or Roasting.Visit for Pressure Canners to meet any need

  3. I honestly want to give this a try this week! It looks delicious, and you made it sound easy. I LOVE pork. I just don't have a working oven right now. lol so I have to go to my in laws' in the next town and make enough for everyone!
    That's how I bake for my cake decorating techniques blog! lol. Thanks for sharing the recipe! Nice photos!

  4. These look marvelous! I've never made my own tamales, but it is high on the list of kitchen projects to tackle soon.

  5. This definitely looks delicious! I have never made tamales but will have to try them now. Thanks for the great recipe, love that well-seasoned pork!

  6. Thanks all for your comments!! I am glad you liked the recipe!! What other recipes would you like to find here??? let me know so I can get to work!! :)

  7. Looks absolutely delicious! I made tamales over the holidays. It is quite involved but the payoff is so worth it!!

    It is fun to compare the recipes.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I have so enjoyed touring yours!! You have a great one!

  8. I have never made tamales, but yours look delicious! Have enjoyed looking through your blog!

  9. OH WOW!! I do love my Mexican food but I've never heard of these. They look great. Thanks for the education. I'll be having a crack at these!