Make Your Own Red Chile and Pork Tamales



  • 8 ounces new mexico red chile (or California, pods)
  • 6 cups water
  • 6 tablespoons flour (all-purpose)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 8 pounds pork butt (or pork shoulder)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons broth (with fat pieces from cooked pork)
  • 3 tablespoons flour (all-purpose)
  • 6 1/2 cups red chile sauce
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 batch masa (tamale)
  • corn husks (ojas)
  • 2 pounds lard (If you are using rendered lard you will need to use less broth)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons salt (divided)
  • 5 pounds masa (fresh ground, unprepared for tamales, divided)
  • 3 cups broth (from cooked pork roast or chicken broth, divided)
  • 1/2 cup red chile sauce


  1. Heat the 6 tablespoons broth in a large skillet. Add flour and whisk for at least 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add red chile sauce and salt, stir, and cook for 10 minutes. The chile sauce will be very thick at this time.
  3. Add the 3 pounds shredded pork and stir so all the pork is well coated with the red chile sauce. Simmer for at least 10 minutes. Let mixture cool before filling tamales.
  4. For the tamale masa
  5. Place 1 pound of lard in a KitchenAid® Stand Mixer and mix until fluffy, scraping sides so the lard stays in the center of the mixing bowl. (The flat beater is the ideal accessory for mixing.)
  6. Add half the baking powder and half the salt to the lard and mix together.
  7. Add half the masa and mix together. Slowly add half the broth and half the red chile sauce, if using, to the masa and mix until combined. The mixture should be about the consistency of smooth peanut butter. If not, add more broth as necessary. Test the masa by taking a small piece (1/2 teaspoon) and dropping it into a cup of warm water. If it floats it is ready; if it sinks, add a little more lard, beat for another minute and test it again. Repeat this process until the masa floats. Pour the masa mixture into a bigger bowl. Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients.
  8. Cover the masa and set aside while you prepare your filling.
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