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Pork and Red Chile Tamales

Tamales are a New Mexico cultural food staple that dates back to 1800’s. The word “Tamale” is derived from the word tamalii, an Aztec word meaning “wrapped food.”

Though exact timing on the invention is not known, we do know that Aztecs served Spaniard soldiers tamales during visits to Mexico in the 1550’s.

Although Tamales can be labor intensive, the experience is worth it. Try out this New Mexico staple and tradition. This recipe should make about 24 Tamales.

And right here on our store - we have 2 of the major ingredients, 

This recipe was modified from Visit Albuquerque

You can download a printable PDF of this recipe by clicking here




  1. Arrange the pork butt in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed stockpot.
  2. Add the garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves and salt.
  3. Add enough cold water to cover by several inches.
  4. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 2 hours.
  5. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and allow it to rest 20 minutes.
  6. Using two forks, shred the meat.
  7. In a bowl, combine 2 cups of the shredded pork with enough New Mexico Red Chile Sauce to thoroughly moisten the meat.
  8. To assemble the tamales, spread about ½ cup masa onto the center of each corn husk.
  9. Spoon some of the shredded pork filling down the center of the dough.
  10. Fold and tie the tamale; repeat with the remaining ingredients and husks.
  11. Steam the tamales for 1 hour and serve slathered with the remaining New Mexico Red Chile Sauce.


Use the links below to get 2 of the primary ingredients from our store that you will need:

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  • Actually, Colorado fresh pinto beans are wonderful. The ones bagged in stores are YEARS old, so there is a difference. There are lots of chiles available, not just Hatch. People love red chile, I make the homemade enchilada sauce from them.

    Clare O'Malley
  • why would you buy pinto beans? you can buy them at any grocery store; their NOT special in NM; only Hatch green chili’s are.


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