Homemade Mexican Tamales

    Homemade Mexican Tamales

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    Pork loin is simmered until tender, then shredded and wrapped in corn husks with masa harina dough, chilli sauce and steamed. You can substitute in any meat you prefer. Serve with refried beans and salad.

    Makes: 16 tamales

    • Tamale Filling
    • 675g pork loin
    • 1 large onion, halved
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 4 dried ancho chillies or mild red chillies
    • 475ml water
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • Tamale Dough
    • 225g dried corn husks
    • 150g lard, or butter
    • 300ml beef stock
    • 230g masa harina
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • To Assemble
    • 250ml sour cream

    Preparation:35min  ›  Cook:3hours  ›  Ready in:3hours35min 

    1. Tamale Filling: Place pork into a large saucepan with onion and garlic then add water to cover. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until the meat is cooked through, about 2 hours.
    2. Use rubber gloves to remove stems and seeds from the chillies. Place chillies in a saucepan with 475ml of water. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, then remove from heat to cool.
    3. Transfer the chillies and water to a liquidiser then blend until smooth. Pass the mixture through a sieve, stir in salt and set aside. Shred the cooked meat and mix in 250ml of the chilli sauce.
    4. Tamale Dough: Soak the corn husks in a bowl of warm water. In a large bowl, beat the lard with a tablespoon of the stock until fluffy. Combine the masa harina, baking powder and salt then stir into the lard mixture, adding more stock as necessary to form a spongy dough.
    5. To Assemble: Spread the dough out over the corn husks to 5mm to 1cm thickness. Place one tablespoon of the meat filling into the centre. Fold the sides of the husks in toward the centre and place in a steamer. Steam for 1 hour.
    6. Remove tamales from husks and drizzle remaining chilli sauce over. Top with sour cream. For a creamy sauce, mix sour cream into the chilli sauce.


    Dried ancho chillies, masa harina and dried corn husks are available online if you can't get them at your local supermarket.

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