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Tips on Making Tamales




Tamale making can be overwhelming for some who have never made tamales, I’m going to take you through the thoroughly enjoyable time-consuming process, and make it easier.


Step 1 

Buy ingredients: 

Tip: Buy some of the items when on sale a few weeks prior to making tamales.

Tamale dough - Maseca or Masa Harina, lard or shortening, and chicken broth

Tamale Meat- Boneless Pork shoulder, or Boneless Beef chuck roast. (Chicken, Elk, Moose, or turkey can be used)

Red Chile Sauce - New Mexico Dried Chile Peppers, or Guajillo Dried Peppers.

Seasonings & misc. - Onion powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, garlic clove, beef bouillon cube, chicken broth, and baking powder.

 Tamale - Corn Husks


Step 2 

Cook meat, shred meat, refrigerate (2 days prior), or freeze until needed. (thaw day before making tamales)

Recipe hereRed Chile Tamale Meat Recipe




Step 3 

 Make Red chile sauce, refrigerate (2 days prior to tamale-making) or freeze until needed (thaw day before making tamales)

Recipe hereRed Chile Sauce Recipe



Step 4 

Make tamale dough, I usually make tamale masa the day before tamale-making.

Refrigerate in a sealed container or storage bag until needed. Take out of refrigerator 30 minutes prior to using and whip in a mixer to make the dough smoother (you can add a little water if you need to). The dough should be able to spread on tamale corn husk with the texture of peanut butter.

Recipe here Tamale Dough Recipe







Step 5 

Day of tamale making...soak corn husk at least for 1 hour in very hot water
Warm meat & red chile sauce together in slow cooker 2 hours on low before using. 

Spoon 2 tablespoon of dough on the smooth side of corn husk about 4 inches wide (or wider if you like bigger tamales) start from 2 to 3 inches from the top of corn husk. (picture below)

Fill with a tablespoon of tamale filling (or more for larger tamales), and pull over each long side over, and fold over top.




Have a tamale-making party

If you are making dozens of tamales...grab helpers....some spread masa on husks, some helpers on meat, one on wrapping tamales and one on placing the tamales in a pot. 




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