Tamales Moreno

  • Active Time 40m
  • Total Time 1h 55m

Makes 30 Tamales

This recipe from Laura Caraza, a well-known cookbook author and teacher, has been in her family for many generations. She has simplified it, to make it more adaptable to modern science.


  • For Filling:
  • 8 ounces pork tenderloin (fillet)
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 2 ounces ancho chiles, cleaned, seeded and deveined
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/2 tablespoon lard
  • For Tamales:
  • 2 pounds prepared corn tortilla masa
  • 1 1/2 cups lard
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
  • 50 to 60 corn husks (dried if available), washed, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes and drained well


FOR FILLING: Place the pork, onion, herbs and salt in a pot and add enough water to cover. Boil for 30 minutes, or until the meat is tender. Drain, reserving 2 cups of liquid, and shred the pork tenderloin. Set aside.

Soak the chiles in the warm water for about 10 minutes. Puree the chiles, water, and garlic in a blender until very smooth. Heat the lard in a frying pan and fry the chile mixture over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add the pork and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Cook for 5 minutes to heat through and thicken slightly.

FOR TAMALES: Mix the masa and the reserved liquid with an electric beater for 5 minutes and set aside. In another bowl, whip the lard at maximum speed until light and fluffy, then add the masa mixture. Beat at high speed for 5 to 7 minutes or until a small ball of the dough floats when dropped in a glass of cold water. Add the baking powder and salt, and mixed well.

Divide the masa mixture among 30 corn husks, spooning the dough into the center of each along with 1 tablespoon of filling. Fold the sides of the husk together and bring the tip down to seal completely. Heat water in the bottom of a tamalera or vegetable steamer, line the basket with husks, and place the tamales on top. Cover with the remaining husks, a dish towel, plastic wrap, and the lid. Steam for 45 to 55 minutes or until the husk can be easily separated from the filling and serve.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.

RecID 896

nutrition information per serving

231 calories; 13g total fat; 15mg cholesterol; 289mg sodium; 24g carbohydrates; 3g fiber; 5g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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