Pork Carnitas Tamales with Red Chile Crema

Pork Carnitas Tamales with Red Chile Crema Recipe

Total Time


Serving Size



  • Pork Carnitas Tamales with Red Chile Crema
  • 16 large dried corn husks (or 8-inch-square sheets of nonstick aluminum foil)
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb boneless pork butt roast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup Mexican crema (or sour cream)
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle hot sauce
  • 4 cups Tamale Dough (below)
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • Tamale Dough
  • 1 cup lard (or vegetable shortening)
  • 3 cups corn masa flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ cups water (or chicken stock)

Pork Carnitas Tamales with Red Chile Crema

  1. Prepare pork. Submerge corn husks in hot water and soak 30 minutes. Chop onion and garlic. Cut pork into 1-inch cubes (wash hands).
  2. Preheat large stockpot on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Place oil in pot; add onions and garlic. Cook 2–3 minutes, stirring often, until onions are tender. Reduce heat to low; add pork, salt, pepper, stock, cumin, red pepper, and allspice.
  3. Cover pot with lid and simmer 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until pork is 190°F (for shreddable). Meanwhile, combine crema and hot sauce until blended; chill until ready to serve.
  4. Prepare tamales. Drain corn husks. Place ⅓ cup tamale dough in center of smooth side of each corn husk (or nonstick side of foil). Spread dough evenly, leaving a 1-inch border around edges.
  5. Shred pork in pot and mix well. Place ¼ cup shredded pork in center of tamale, then roll up like a burrito. (Use strips of corn husk or butchers twine to tie tamales if desired.)
  6. Fill steamer (or saucepan fitted with strainer or vegetable basket) with 3–4 inches of water and bring to a simmer. Place tamales in steamer, seam-side down, and cover steamer tightly.
  7. Steam 30–35 minutes (adding more water as needed) or until tamales release easily from husks. Remove from steamer and let stand 5 minutes to cool. Remove husks from tamales; top with red chile crema and garnish with cilantro. Serve.

Tamale Dough

  1. Set lard out to come to room temperature. Place masa flour, salt, and baking powder in bowl of electric mixer; mix with paddle attachment until combined. Add lard and beat 3 minutes until blended.
  2. Slowly add water and beat 2 more minutes until dough resembles creamy peanut butter, stopping mixer every 45–60 seconds to scrape down sides of bowl.
  3. Remove dough from bowl; wrap in plastic wrap and let stand 30 minutes at room temperature. (Makes about 6 cups dough.)

Nutritional information

Pork Carnitas Tamales with Red Chile Crema

Amount per ⅛ recipe serving: Calories 460, Total Fat 34.00g, Sat Fat 13.00g, Trans Fat 0.00g, Chol 70mg, Sodium 600mg, Total Carb 27g, Fiber 2.00g, Sugars 3g, Protein 13g, Calc 8%, Vit A 0%, Vit C 0%, Iron 6%

Tamale Dough

Amount per 1/24 recipe serving: Calories 130, Total Fat 9.00g, Sat Fat 3.50g, Trans Fat 0.00g, Chol 10mg, Sodium 140mg, Total Carb 11g, Fiber 1.00g, Sugars 0g, Protein 1g, Calc 2%, Vit A 0%, Vit C 0%, Iron