Tamales Tutorial: My Momma’s Recipe!

It’s that time of the year where in my family where we prepare Tamales; a Mexican well-known plate! During Christmas EVE, some of my 9 sisters gather together to help my mom make dozens of these and we even make a cook line to prepare them.. One of my sisters prepares the masa, one prepares the sauce, one the meat, and one spreads the masa to the corn husks! We gather together early in the morning still in our PJs and begin the process. It’s more of a tradition and we have lots of fun, talking, enjoying time together and gossiping… 

Two days ago, I made Tamales by myself and they turned out almost perfect like my mom’s. I’m visiting my family for the holidays and we will be making more Tamales.. on Christmas Eve Eve. 
I’s a LONG process but is worth it.  You can make them with almost anything inside!
Cheese, Green Chili sometimes they are SWEET!
Have you tried TAMALES before?
What you’ll need:
7lbs of Mexican Prepared Masa (check your local mexican tortilla store)
6lbs of Pork Shoulder (save the stock)
1/2 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup of lard
1 cup of pork stock
For the Sauce:

8 oz red dried chili California (About 10-15 Chili Pods – Seedless and without stem)
3 Cups of water
1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds (raw)
1 tbsp of cumin powder
1 tbsp of garlic powder
1 tbsp of kosher salt

2 Packets of Dried Corn Husks
1 Pot for Tamales/Steamer
MAKES about 5 Dozens or more..
First boil the pork with half of onion, garlic, and salt to taste for about 1- 2hrs or until ready. Once done let cool and separate the fat and bone and begin shredding. Set aside.
To Prepare the chili Sauce: On a medium sauce pan, add water half way and bring to boil. Remove stems from the chili and add the chilis to the boiled water until chilis are soft. Let Cool.
On a blender, add chilis, pumpking seeds, cuming powder, garlic, and salt and water from the chilis. Blend on medium – high speed.
If you have a food mill, add the sauce and begin to grind to get the sacue.. and If you don’t have a food mill  use a strainer like mine.
Add a lil of water through out the process to get enough sauce from the chili.
Add the meat to the chili sauce and bring to boil.
To prepare the MASA:
On a LARGE bowl.. add the Masa then add a cup of the meat stock you saved and mix well with hands!
On a small sauce pan… heat up a cup of LARD until HOT! Then, make a hole in the middle of the MASA and slowly add the lard. BE CAREFUL!… and slowly mix until well blended. Knead with hands for about 20 Minutes.
Rinse and then soak the corn husks on hot water.
Add water to the steamer
Lastly, prepare to spread the MASA to the CORN HUSK and and the chili meat sauce.
Cover the steamer with a WET towel and COOK for 90 minutes!
Hope you enjoy as much as I DID eating them. They turned out almost perfect like my mom’s! If you plan on making them.. let me know how they turned out!
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  • Bjboze

    oh my, I am not a huge Tamales fan, but my family loves them. Maybe I will convert with this recipe, it looks delish!
    I LOVE your Bokeh photos, they all look fab!! Stopping by from TT&J!ReplyCancel

  • Awww thanks!!! 😉 We only make them once a year.. and they are delish! 😉 Thanks for stopping by
    Subject: [alittleinspiration] Re: A Little Inspiration: Tamales Tutorial: My Momma's Recipe!ReplyCancel

  • Hamfam00

    these sound really good…I have actually never had them…ReplyCancel

  • They are! 😉 Thanks for stopping by!!! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • On your measutrements, what does TT stand for please?ReplyCancel

  • HI Michelle!
    TT means To Taste.. Usually a 1 1/2 teaspoon.. taste as you go. My mom usually doesn't measure at all.. she already know how much by just seeing. 🙂 Subject: [alittleinspiration] Re: A Little Inspiration: Tamales Tutorial: My Momma's Recipe!ReplyCancel

  • These look so good! I'm going to have to get some Mexican food tomorrow night. Stumbled it.ReplyCancel

  • Ohhh what's if for dinner? Some Mexican enchiladas? Thanks for stopping by Sarah!
    Sent from my iPadReplyCancel

  • Connie Vickers

    I was taught to use a coin in the bottom of the steamer to listen to it rattle so you could tell when to add more water.
    What temp do you cook your tamales at?ReplyCancel