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 User ID: 2185950 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 User ID: 4406952 67798
Reviewed Sep. 3, 2010

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

carolbeth User ID: 2679239 11551
Reviewed Oct. 5, 2008

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

skrappysenior User ID: 2158668 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 User ID: 274795 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 User ID: 219865 13645
Reviewed May. 2, 2008

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

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