No Thanks
Let
Keep In Touch With MarthaStewart.com

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.

Rick's Red Chile Pork Tamales

In this flavorful recipe, prepared by chef Rick Bayless, dry masa harina can be substituted for the fresh masa, if need be. For optimum taste and consistency, make the masa dough 30 to 60 minutes before preparing the tamales.

  • Yield: Makes 12

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December/January 1998/1999

Ingredients

For the Batter

  • 5 ounces (2/3 cup) fresh pork lard, chilled
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 scant teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups coarsely ground (1 pound) fresh masa, or 1 3/4 cups masa harina mixed with 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot water, cooled to room temperature
  • 2/3 cup chicken, beef, or vegetable stock, preferably homemade

For the Wrapper

  • 4 ounces dried corn husks

For the Filling

  • 6 large dried New Mexico chiles, stems removed, seeded, and torn into 4 pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 12 ounces lean boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. To make the batter: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the lard, baking powder, and salt. Beat until light and fluffy. Add 1 cup masa and 1/3 cup stock; beat until thoroughly combined. Add the remaining masa and 1/3 cup stock; beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. The batter should be soft but it should hold its shape in a spoon.

  2. If using fresh masa, test the batter to determine if it is adequately fluffy (this will ensure light and tender tamales): Drop 1 teaspoon batter into a cup of cold water. If it floats to the surface, it is ready.

  3. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Store batter in an airtight container, refrigerated, up to 2 days.

  4. To make the wrappers: Reconstitute the corn husks by placing them in a deep saucepan and covering them with water. Set saucepan over high heat, and bring to a boil.

  5. Transfer husks and water to a heatproof bowl. Set a small plate on top of husks, keeping them submerged. Soak 1 hour. Remove from water.

  6. To make the filling: In the jar of a blender, combine chiles, garlic, pepper, and cumin. Add 1 1/2 cups water, and blend until a smooth puree forms.

  7. Strain mixture into a medium saucepan. Add the pork, 1 3/4 cups water, and salt. Place over medium heat; cook, stirring frequently, until liquid has reduced to the consistency of a thick sauce and the meat is very tender, 50 to 60 minutes. Using a fork, break up the meat.

  8. Return the tamale batter to the mixer. On low to medium speed, mix the batter for a few seconds to lighten the dough. Add 3 tablespoons sauce; mix again to combine.

  9. You may need to add a few tablespoons or so of chicken stock. The batter should not be stiff, but slightly loose and not runny. Remember, the lighter the batter, the more tender the tamale.

  10. To assemble the tamales: Unroll one large reconstituted corn husk; tear lengthwise along grain to make 1/4-inch-wide strips (two per tamale); if strips aren't long enough, tie two together.

  11. Place another long piece, lightly dried, on work surface, pointed end away from you; scoop 1/4 cup batter onto middle of one end. Spread into a 4-inch square, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border on pointed end and a 1-inch border on the other sides. Spoon 2 tablespoons filling down the center. Bring long sides together to form a cylinder, making sure the batter encases filling. Fold the pointed end under; tie loosely with husk strip. Fold the flat end under; tie. Repeat.

  12. Reserve smaller husks to line the steamer basket and cover the tamales.

  13. To steam the tamales: Set steamer over high heat. When steam puffs out, reduce the heat to medium. Steam 1 hour 15 minutes, adding more water when necessary. To check for doneness, unwrap a tamale: If ready, dough will come free from wrapper and feel soft. If dough sticks to wrapper, rewrap, and steam 15 to 20 more minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes for batter to firm up. They will remain warm for about 1 hour.

Reviews (4)

  • bmprecious 21 May, 2011

    MADE THIS RECIPE MANY TIMES . EXCELLENT AND HAVE MADE IT WITH VEGETABLE SHORTENING STILL GREAT.

  • eamwrites 23 Dec, 2008

    Mary Enig (a fat researcher) has for years said that the "bad" fats really aren't. Traditional foods (i.e. saturated fats, meats, skins)are much better for people than denatured, chemically enhanced foods. It isn't the lard that is the problem, its the hydrogenization that's the problem. If you are eating this once a year, does it really matter if its lard?

  • sandiaobit 29 Nov, 2008

    It has saturated fat. Get over it. This isn't a vegan site!

  • jidiji 12 Nov, 2008

    Martha, I love ya, however with this one.....5 oz of pork lard???? The most SATURATED fat known to man???? With all of the cardiovascular disease,

Related Topics