Tamales Recipe | Mexican Recipes | PBS Food

Tamales are Latin American dishes cooked in masa and steamed in a leaf wrapper and can be filled with your choice of meat, cheese, or other fillings.



  • 4 lbs of pork shoulder
  • 6 cups of water
  • 8 tbs chile powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 2 medium garlic
  • salt to taste
  • 5 lbs masa harina
  • 1 lb lard
  • pork broth
  • 1 package corn husks


  1. Boil meat in water until tender. Remove the meat from broth, saving broth for dough/masa harina and chile. Chop meat into small pieces and place in a large pan. Dissolve chile powder in 1 1/2 cups of pork broth and then add to meat. Add other spices such as garlic, cumin, and salt to meat. Cook and simmer until chile meat is done.
  2. Cream lard in mixing bowl. Add masa harina and mix. Add enough broth to to make the dough spreadable with a tablespoon. Rinse the husks and soak in water until pliable. Spread the center portion of the husks with 2 tablespoons of masa. Top with chile meat mix.
  3. Forming/folding a tamale: Fold the sides toward the center, making sure the chile meat mix stays in the center, the bottom up and the top down. Pour 2 inches of water into a large pot and arrange the tamales on a rack above the water level. Steam the tamales for about 40 to 50 minutes until cooked.
  4. If the tamale can easily slither off the cornhusk... they’re cooked and ready to eat!!