Guatamalan Red Chili Pork Chuchitos (Tamales)

Makes 20 tamales


For the red chili pork

2 cups water
1 medium tomato, chopped medium
1 red chile, torn into pieces
1 medium yellow onion, chopped medium
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted
1 pound pork butt
1 teaspoon salt
1 fresh bay leaf
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

For the tamale dough

2 cups masa harina
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 cups pork stock, reserved from poached pork
½ cup lard
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Corn husk wrappers
Hot sauce


For the red chili pork

Place water, tomatoes, chile, onions, garlic, spices, pork butt, salt and bay leaf in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour or until pork is falling apart and soft. Take off heat and cool. Discard the bay leaf. Shred the pork by pulling apart the fibers using a fork or your fingers. Place shredded meat into a medium sized bowl and add fresh herbs and combine. Set aside.

For the tamale dough

In a large mixing bowl combine masa harina and lime zest with 2 cups of the reserved cooking liquid from pork and mix well. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a kitchen aid mixer or with an electric hand held mixer, mix the lard until fluffy, about five minutes. Add the lard to the masa harina mixture, a little at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the baking powder and the salt and mix well. The dough is ready (well mixed) when a small piece floats in a glass of cold water.

For the wrappers

For corn husk wrappers, place the corn husks in boiling, water for 1-2 minutes, take out and cool slightly before handling. In the corn husk, place about ½ cup of the masa mixture topped with shredded pork and herb mixture. Fold over the corn husk like you are folding a present and tie the package with a corn husk tie or kitchen twine.

Place the wrapped tamales in a steamer and cover the top of the tamales with a kitchen towel (to prevent drips and tamales from getting soggy). Steam tamales on medium heat for about 30-45 minutes or until soft and cooked through. Serve with hot sauce.