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Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish. The packets of corn dough have a savory or sweet filling and are typically wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves. Because they take a while to make, tamales are served more for special occasions and holidays than as everyday fare. —Jacquelynne Stine, Las Vegas, Nevada
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 4-1/4 hours Cook: 25 min.
MAKES:16 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 4-1/4 hours Cook: 25 min.
MAKES: 16 servings


  • 1 boneless pork shoulder butt roast (4 pounds)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup adobo sauce
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce
  • 2 dried guajillo chilies
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 32 corn husks
  • 7 cups maseca cornmeal
  • 9 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1-1/2 cups butter-flavored shortening

Nutritional Facts

2 each: 543 calories, 28g fat (7g saturated fat), 47mg cholesterol, 865mg sodium, 52g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 5g fiber), 19g protein.


  1. Place the first eight ingredients in a Dutch oven. Cover and bake at 325° for 3-4 hours or until meat is very tender.
  2. Meanwhile, place corn husks in a large kettle; cover with cold water and soak for at least 2 hours.
  3. Remove roast and shred meat with two forks; set aside and keep warm. Skim fat from pan juices; discard chilies. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced to 4 cups.
  4. For filling, in a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, baking powder and salt; beat in water, 2 cups pan juices and shortening just until combined (bowl will be full). Refrigerate remaining pan juices.
  5. Drain corn husks and pat dry. (Until ready to use, keep husks covered with plastic wrap and a damp towel to prevent them from drying out.) Spread 3 tablespoons filling over each husk to within 1/4 in. of edges. Top each with 1/4 cup pork and 3 tablespoons filling. Using the husk to lift one long side, roll up filling. Enclose filling with husk; fold bottom end of husk over the top.
  6. In a large steamer basket, position tamales upright with folded bottoms down. Place basket in a Dutch oven over 1 in. of water. Bring to a boil; cover and steam for 25-30 minutes or until cornmeal peels away from husk, adding water to pan as needed. Warm reserved pan juices; serve with tamales. Remove husks before eating. Yield: 32 tamales.
Editor’s Note: Look for chilies, cornmeal and corn husks in the ethnic aisle of your grocery store.
Originally published as Tamales in Taste of Home

Sweet White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.

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