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How to make pork tamales

Mexican pork tamales on a plate
Photo by Shari Pennington

This dish is sure to be a crowd-pleaser and pairs well with the Vidal Blanc from Two Twisted Posts Winery. It appears in Un-Wine’d, which airs Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. on VPM PBS.

Watch past seasons and current episodes on the PBS app or PBS website. Check the broadcast schedule for local listings. To discover more recipes seen on Un-Wine’d, please click here.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 lbs pork shoulder or loin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 New Mexico chili peppers
  • 1 ancho chili pepper
  • 3 c. chicken stock
  • 1 t. minced garlic

  • ⅓ c. freshly minced cilantro
  • 1 c. tomatillo salsa
  • 2 cups instant masa flour
  • 2 c. warm water
  • Corn husks
  • Butchers twine
  • 2 bowls


Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Step 2: Trim any large pockets of fat from the pork. Rub lightly with salt and pepper.

Step 3: In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high heat and add the pork. Sear the pork on all sides.

Step 4: Add the chilis and garlic then pour the chicken stock into the pan. Bring to a boil then cover and place the pan in the oven. Braise for about 2 hours or until the meat registers 190 to 200 F.

Step 5: Remove the meat from the oven, place on a cutting board, and cool slightly before shredding. Reserve the braising liquid.

Step 6: Shred the meat and place in a mixing bowl. Remove the peppers from the braising pan and scrape the softened pepper flesh from the tough skins.

Step 7: Discard the skins and place the inside of the pepper in the bowl with the pork. Remove the garlic cloves and mince. Place in the bowl.

Step 8: Add the minced garlic, cilantro, and salsa. Stir well and set aside.

Step 9: In a large bowl, soak the husks in hot water to soften.

Step 10: In a medium bowl mix together the masa flour and water. The mixture should be thin enough to spread and thick enough to not run off the husks.

Step 11: Lay out 2 to 4 pieces of husks overlapping slightly and top with a spoonful of the masa mix. Pat out into about 3” X 3."