Tamales by Beverly C.

Tamales By Beverly C.

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Stacey Merritt


A friend gave me this recipe and I normally do not like tamales. This recipe I actually liked. I have made a small edit to the recipe and marinade my meat overnight in a brine then use the crockpot to slow cook it all the next day.


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30+ tamales
4 Hr
2 Hr


  • 2 tsp
    black pepper
  • 2 tsp
    garlic powder
  • 2 tsp
    onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    salt (optional)
  • 0.5 tsp
    dried mexican oregano
  • 0.5 tsp
    dried cilantro leaves
  • 0.25 tsp
  • 3 lb
    carnitas pork shoulder

  • 1-16oz bag(s)
    dried corn husks (hoja de maíz)
  • MASA

  • 4 lb
    bag of prepared masa/mase
  • 3 Tbsp
  • 3 Tbsp
  • 3 Tbsp
    chili powder
  • 3 Tbsp
    garlic powder
  • 2 c
    corn oil
  • 2 qt
    chicken or pork broth

How to Make Tamales by Beverly C.


  1. Heat oven to 325F, Combine all seasonings in a small bowl; mix well.
  2. Place meat in 13 X 9 X 2 inch baking pan. Sprinkle meat with seasoning and mix to coat thoroughly. Arrange meat into a single layer.
  3. Cover pan tightly with foil. Bake at 325 F for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until very tender.
    Remove meat from pan and add enough water to loosen the drippings.
    Shred the meat, reserve the drippings for the Masa.
    (You can make the meat a day or two ahead of time, store tightly covered in fridge.)
  4. At least 30 minutes before assembling your tamales, soak the dried corn husks. Fill a large pot, or your sink, with hot water and place the dried corn husks in the hot water to soak (a dinner plate may have to be used to hold corn husks under water). Corn husks need to be pliable enough to wrap, but don't have to be soft).
  5. For the broth use your reserved pork broth. Skim the fat off the liquid before using. Do not confuse Masa flour with cornmeal, as they are made from different types of corn and you will not achieve the same results in your tamales if you use cornmeal. Masa mix can be purchased in Latin American markets or supermarkets that carry Latin American products. It can also be purchased by mail order (online) if not available locally.
  6. In a large bowl (and I mean a very large bowl), place 1/2 the bag (approximately 2 pounds) of Masa/Maseca Tamale Corn Flour. To this add the paprika, salt, chili powder, and garlic powder.
  7. Using clean hands, work the dry ingredients together, mixing well so that you don’t end up with clumps of spices.
    Once you have the masa flour and the other dry ingredients well combined, add the corn oil all at once.
  8. Continue to work this with your hands, mixing the corn oil into the dry ingredients. Once this is distributed well, begin adding the warm pork/chicken broth, 1 cup at a time. Keep mixing, and adding broth, until your masa is the consistency of paste or peanut butter. You will probably be using both hands before you get to this point. NOTE: You may need to add more masa mix, or more liquid as you are mixing so you obtain the right consistency.
  9. (1) Take 1 (or 2 if the corn husks are very narrow) softened corn husks and place them in your hand (pinched-looking end toward your fingers and smooth side of a corn husk up).
    (2) Slightly overlap the corn husks.
    If a corn husk rips or one is too small, overlap two together and continue wrapping and tying as usual.
    (3) Using a butter knife or with your other hand, take enough of the Prepared Masa to spread over the corn husks covering the top 2/3 and 2/3 of one side. You want the Masa to be about 1/4-inch thick.
    (4) Add about 1 tablespoon of the prepared Carnitas, spreading it evenly down the center of the masa (careful to leave 1/2-inch at the top and bottom, and room on the sides for the masa to close around the meat).
    (5) Carefully roll the tamale, starting with the side covered with the Masa Dough. Turn right side over to center of filling; fold left side over filling, allowing plain part of husk to wrap around filling. Fold top end down over bottom end.
    (6) Roll it snug, but not too tight. Too tight and you might end up with a hand full of Masa and this really cannot be used to make a new one.
  10. Steaming the Tamales
    Stand the tamales upright (folded side down) in a large steamer pot fitted with a steamer basked and a lid. For best results, the tamales should be firmly packed, put not too tightly, as the dough needs room to expand some.
    Once you have a full pot of assembled tamales, fill the bottom of the steamer pot with water, making sure the bottoms of the tamales are not in the water. Cover and bring just to a boil. Keep the water bubbling, not a hard boil. Once steam has begun to escape from the pot, reduce the heat to medium; keep these steaming for at least 2 hours, adding water as needed so the pot doesn’t go dry.
    The tamales are done when the Masa Dough around the meat feels firm there are no parts of uncooked dough left. To test the tamales for doneness, remove one tamale from the steamer. Let this cool for a moment or two. As you open the husks, the dough should come away easily from the husks and be completely smooth. To make doubly sure, open up the tamales and see if they are spongy and well cooked throughout.
    Remove the tamales, and let them rest on the counter for a few minutes. This will help them finish “setting” up and let them cool so no one burns their mouth (well at least not from the stove heat, they may get a burn if the chile is extra hot!)
  11. They can be eaten right way, stored in plastic bags or containers in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days, or they can be frozen for up to 3 months (that is if they last that long). If you use a vacuum sealer they can be kept frozen up to a year.
    To reheat the tamales, wrap in foil and place in 350 degree F. oven about 30 minutes.

Printable Recipe Card

About Tamales by Beverly C.

Course/Dish: Pork
Main Ingredient: Pork
Regional Style: Mexican

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