Happy Cinco De Mayo, folks! I had a big plan today to make tacos, but then I thought I would take a more adventurous route and make something I’d never done before – until TODAY!

What are tamales, Andy? Well, I am probably the wrong person to ask but here is my best explanation! Tamales are amazing snacks that consist of a masa flour batter stuffed with meats, cheese, peppers. The whole mixture is then folded inside of a soaked corn husk and steamed. A really, really fun dish that I encourage all adventurous home cooks to try.

Overall, I was pretty pleased with the result. Feel free to get creative with the fillings. I only had ground pork, but a shredded pork shoulder would be lovely too!

Spicy Pork Tamales

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Prep Time 1 hour
Ready in 3 hours
Servings 30


Tamale Dough

  • 3 cups masa flour
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • cups chicken stock

Spicy ground pork

  • 2 lbs ground pork
  • 3 chipotle peppers and 2 tsp of adobo sauce
  • ½ seeded jalapeno, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp cumin

Additional things to have

  • 2 charred jalapenos sliced vertically
  • 2 cups pull-apart mozzarella
  • 2 cups salsa or fresh pico de gallo for serving


  • Let's do this! Okay, first soak the corn husks in boiling water. Let them sit submerged for 30 minutes. We will come back to these in a bit.
  • Next up let's get the pork fried off. In a frying pan set over medium high heat add in garlic, all the peppers and cumin along with a tbsp of olive oil. Saute for 2 minutes and then add in the pork and saute until browned. Once browned, remove from heat. We will be using this to stuff the tamales shortly.
  • Dough time. In the bowl of a stand mixer add in 1 cup of shortening, baking soda, and salt. Turn mixer on to medium with the paddle attachment. If you don't have a stand mixer a hand mixer is more than fine. After about a minute add in the masa flour 1 cup at a time. Don't rush here. Once all of the flour is mixed in, start streaming in the chicken stock. Again don't rush. You are looking for the dough to turn to the same consistency as mashed potatoes.
  • OK, folding time. Get everything right in front of you. Drain the corn husks and pat dry with paper towel. Get the charred jalapeno strips and pulled cheese ready. Now, lay the husk down with the pointy end facing you. Spoon a dollop (3 tbsp) of batter into the center of the husk and spread it out evenly towards the top and the sides. Next add the pork, cheese and jalapenos into the center. Be careful not to over-stuff. Fold the left side, then right side of the corn husk over the filling. Fold the long pointed end up towards the center. Wrap a 1/4-inch strip of corn husk around tamale. Tie strip to secure filling.
  • Using a steamer bring water to a boil and lay the tamales onto the rack and let steam for 60 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover and let the tamales sit for 10 minutes. This is crucial.
  • Serve with pico de gallo, sour cream, avocado, and a cold light Mexican beer.
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