Mexican Tamales Recipe
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Mexican Tamales Recipe

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This family favorite can be served for all occasions-dinner, a quick lunch, a hearty snack or an unusual appetizer.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. + soaking Cook: 45 min.
MAKES:18 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. + soaking Cook: 45 min.
MAKES: 18 servings


  • 1 package corn husks
  • 3 cups masa harina flour
  • 1-3/4 cups water
  • 1 cup lard or shortening
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound ground pork or beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 can (10-1/2 ounces) tomato puree
  • 1 tart apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cup chicken broth or water


  1. Immerse husks in water; cover. Soak overnight.
  2. Mix flour and water to form dough; cover. Let stand 30 minutes. In a large bowl, beat lard and salt until mixture resembles beaten egg whites (about 6 minutes). Add dough 2 tablespoons at a time, beating constantly.
  3. In a large skillet, cook pork, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add next 10 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 25 minutes. Cool slightly.
  4. Pat husks dry with paper towels and spread about 2 tablespoons dough (1/8- to 1/16-in. thick) on each, leaving 1-in. border. Top with 1 tablespoon filling. Roll. Tie in center.
  5. Place upright, folded end down, in Dutch oven with steam rack or oven-proof inverted plate on bottom. Add chicken broth or water. Bring to a boil; cover and steam for 45 minutes, adding more liquid as needed. When done, husk should peel back easily from dough. Yield: about 3 dozen.
Originally published as Mexican Tamales in Country February/March 1990, p47

Sweet Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a sweet red wine.

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cookingirl78 8724
Reviewed Sep. 3, 2010

"It looks like she means asterisks, but I don't see any either. Do Mexican tamale recipes usually have almonds and apples in them?"

xskeetshooter 67798
Reviewed Sep. 3, 2010

"ednal ,what do you mean .what is the (s) are you seeing something i aint"

carolbeth 11551
Reviewed Oct. 5, 2008

"I was able to find all at my local walmart"

skrappysenior 41247
Reviewed May. 3, 2008

"I have actually found both the husks and the masa in my local grocers (big ones) - they are cheaper at a mexican market - sasha"

angelle321 38311
Reviewed May. 3, 2008

"I'm going to guess that maybe those are specialty items that you could find in your international foods section or at a Mexican grocery?  "

EDNAL316 13645
Reviewed May. 2, 2008

"What are the *'s for? The recipe doesn't say"

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