Cumin Pork-Potato Filled Tamales

Total Time:
2 hr 5 min
20 min
1 hr 45 min

16 tamales

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound pork butt, cut into small dice (1/2 to 3/4-inch)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups potato, peeled and diced (1-inch)
  • 2 cups stock or broth
  • 16 dried corn husks, soaking in water
  • 1 recipe basic tamale dough, recipe follows
  • Green Salsa, recipe follows
  • Basic Tamale Dough:
  • 1 1/2 cups masa harina
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1/3 cup lard, shortening, or duck fat
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons water
  • Green Salsa:
  • 1/2 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno peppers
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • In a medium saucepan, heat the oil until it ripples, add the pork and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the onions, garlic, pepper, cumin, and salt. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, potatoes, and the stock, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour, or until the meat is very tender. The liquid will absorb and the mixture will become slightly "stewed". The pork should be tender and moist. If more liquid is needed, add a little at a time. Remove from the heat and cool.

  • Remove a husk from the water and dry with a clean towel. Place 2 tablespoons of tamale dough in center. Spread tamale dough within 1/2-inch of the wide end and halfway toward the pointed end. Put 1 heaping tablespoon meat filling in center of tamale. Fold sides of husk towards center to overlap. Fold pointed end toward the filling. Repeat with the remaining husks.

  • Put 2 cups of water into a large pan with a rack. Arrange the tamales, seam side down on the rack. Cover with foil and top the foil with a clean towel to catch to excess moisture. Put a lid on the pan, bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and steam for 45 minutes. Serve with Green Salsa. To serve, peel back the husk and dip in.

Basic Tamale Dough:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • Mix the masa, baking powder, salt, and cumin thoroughly together. In another bowl, beat the butter and fat together until very light and creamy, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat 3 tablespoons of masa mixture to the butter and fat mixture, followed by 3 tablespoons of water until mixture is light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Continue beating in the masa and water, alternately, until the dough is very smooth and of spreading consistency, about 5 minutes.

Green Salsa:
  • In a pot of boiling water, blanch the tomatillos for 5 minutes, drain, and place in a food processor. Puree until smooth. In a medium bowl, combine the puree with the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.

  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups

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