by Kathy Strahs on September 26, 2011 · 17 comments

Post image for Tamales

I hope I whet your appetite for Mexican food with last week’s sopes because I’m back this week with Tamales!

I caught the hint that tamales might be a tad labor intensive when three different people kind of sighed and waved their hand when I suggested I wanted to try making them. There’s a good reason families typically save these to make around special occasions, like Christmas. They take hours to make! But I’ll tell you what, when you’re spending half the day slow cooking meat, grinding chiles, mixing masa with your hands and wrapping and steaming little corn husk packages, you can’t help but pour a little love in there as well.

They were certainly the freshest tamales we’d ever had, as they came right from our own kitchen. I had concerns about simmering the pork (it didn’t dry out after all), the chile concoction (it adds deep, earthy flavor to the pork) and the lard (first time ever venturing to cook with it) but I gave the recipe a try anyway. My husband said these were the best tamales he’d ever tasted and I agreed.


It was actually my 3-year old’s idea for us to make tamales. Last week, Special Agent Oso showed a little girl named Carmen how to make them in “three simple steps” in the new “Tamales with Love” episode. My daughter had to wait patiently while I prepared all of the components but was eager and ready when it came time for assembly. Rolling the tamales, for her, was much like wrapping a birthday present, which is another activity we enjoy in this house. And, of course, we had help from the entire family in eating them.


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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

sweetsugarbelle September 26, 2011 at 10:57 PM

Wow you really outdid yourself! I know from experience that these are not EASY. Some of my fondest memories are making these with my husband’s family. And no joke, they are a lot of work. Kudos for trying AND making gorgeous tamales!
sweetsugarbelle´s last blog post ..3-D Witch Hat Cookies


Kathy Strahs September 26, 2011 at 11:06 PM

Thanks so much, Callye! I definitely see how it would be a great activity to get the whole family involved in.


Carolyn September 27, 2011 at 4:39 AM

I LOVE tamales and these look fantastic. I really should try making them myself sometime!
Carolyn´s last blog post ..Almond Butter Amaretto Brownies (Low Carb and Gluten Free)


Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. September 27, 2011 at 4:41 AM

These look amazing! I have been looking for a good recipe for these!
Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.´s last blog post ..Bistro Pasta Salad


Jeanette September 27, 2011 at 5:16 AM

Wow, that sounds like a lot of work, but worth the effort! Your daughter is ambitious (as are you)!
Jeanette´s last blog post ..Roasted Red Pepper Carrot Pesto {MagNoodles Pasta Giveaway}


Kathy Strahs September 27, 2011 at 7:13 AM

It did look a lot simpler on the animated Disney show, lol. But we did it!


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) September 27, 2011 at 6:58 AM

My one experience making tamales, years ago with the chef of a Mexican restaurant, convinced me that it was too complicated. But your post reminds me that it’s time to try again.


Colleen September 27, 2011 at 10:08 AM

Magnífico! (And gluten-free!) A lot of work but they sure do look delicious.


Karina September 27, 2011 at 10:18 AM

Beautiful! I have always wanted to make tamales. Thank you for this post- you are inspiring me to try.
Karina´s last blog post ..Karina’s Gluten-Free Apple Crisp


Chelsea September 27, 2011 at 11:47 AM

YUM! I don’t know if I’m brave enough to try making them, but you have me motivated!


Lil Sis September 27, 2011 at 12:03 PM

Impressive! I heat our leftover tamales up on my panini grill!


naomi September 27, 2011 at 12:16 PM

I love tamales! And i love this recipe. Wow-labor intensive project, but the payoff is there. These look gorgeous!
naomi´s last blog post ..Rocky Road Cookies


Amanda September 27, 2011 at 12:59 PM

your pictures are SO pretty!


Jay September 27, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Kudos to you for making authentic tamales! It’s fun to make variations for the filling or masa (like using shredded chicken in salsa verde for the stuffing and adding fresh corn to masa), but your pepper-based sauce for the pork is a classic!


Wenderly September 28, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Those look so fun and so tasty!!! I am craving Mexican food now! *YUM*


Sam October 1, 2011 at 12:02 PM

I have longing for that recipe for so long now that I don’t even remember. Super thanks. Love those pictorial display. And the family participation makes it extra special for me.
Sam´s last blog post ..Physical Therapy Assistant


Eleanor December 7, 2012 at 11:02 PM

This is easier..go to a Mexican store and buy prepared Tamale Masa. you do not have to make it. You may have to add some salt….
Your chili MUST be red chile from New Mexico…..same for GREEN


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