Recipe: Uncle Bill’s Red and Green Chile Pork Tamales

My mom is in Taos, New Mexico having a sisters weekend with her three sisters and it made me remember that I never shared my Uncle Bill’s Tamale recipe with you all. We served these tamales at Caspian’s Baptism celebration and they were so good.

I absolutely adore New Mexico. If you’ve never been there, you should definitely put in on your ‘must visit’ list. I don’t even really know how to describe it, but I always feel like I’m a new world when we visit. My grandparents owned an art gallery in Taos for many years and my Grandma Marge was an amazing artist. We are lucky enough to have a few of her paintings in our own house now. I guess I would say that Taos and Santa Fe have a very artsy feeling and the beauty that surrounds these cities is incredibly inspirational which is probably why they are filled with so many talented artists.

Not only is New Mexico beautiful, but the food is out of this world! I grew up with a southwestern influence in our cooking since my grandparents lived in this region. Green chiles are definitely a staple in our house and when my mom posted a picture of the food she was eating yesterday after she arrived, I was definitely green with envy (yes, pun intended).

If you’ve never tried tamales, you should give this recipe a try. This is not a quick dish. Making these tamales is more about the process and the love that goes into cooking. There are many parts to this recipe, but it’s worth it, trust me. Consider having a tamale making party and enjoy the company of your friends as you make these hand-crafted Red and Green Chile Pork Tamales

Uncle Bill’s Homemade Red and Green Chile Pork Tamales

3 lbs pork loin
1 onion chopped
5 cloves garlic
6-8 juniper seeds (optional)
1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper
2 bay leaves
Oil Sear meat in oil.

Cover with 8 cups water, onion and spices and simmer 2.5 hours or crock pot for 8-10 hours. Cool and shred. Reserve stock.

1.5 cup stock
8 oz tomato sauce
2 TBL canned chipotle in adobo
½ tsp oregano and cumin
½ tsp garlic salt
1 diced oinion
1 tsp sugar
 1 T oil.

Saute onions, sprinkle in spices. Add sauce and stock and simmer 20-30 minutes. Add half of shredded pork. You can refrigerate overnight until assembling the next day.

1 diced onion
1 can green enchilada sauce
1 –7 oz can chopped green chiles
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp garlic salt

Sauté onion in oil. Add spices. Simmer 10-15 minutes. Add half of shredded pork. You can refrigerate overnight until assembling the next day.

5 cups masa
 5 cups stock or chicken stock
1 cup olive oil
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
Corn husks

Mix salt and baking powder with masa. Add the stock and mix roughly with electric mixer. Gradually pour in olive oil and mix with mixer at least 5 mins.

To assemble, soak cornhusks to rehydrate them. Place husks in a baking dish or bowl and pour hot water on top. Soak until husks are pliable (up to 30 minutes). Remove husks from water and pat dry.

Spread a little Masa (approximately 2 tablespoons) into a long rectangle-like shape on the cornhusk with a little amount of filling (approximately 1 tablespoon) on top of the Masa dough. Fold up one short end and roll tamales the long way. The top will still be open which is fine because they will be placed tightly in the pot for boiling. If you would prefer to close them, you can either twist it tightly or tie it with a strip of soaked cornhusk or cooking twine. Do not overfill the tamales or your filling will come out of the tamale. A little bit goes along way.

Steam upright approximately 1.5 to 2 hours until masa separates cleanly from the husk. Check water from time to time and replenish as necessary. You do not want your pan to run dry.   Makes approximately 48 tamales.

To eat the tamales, remove from the corn husks and enjoy! Consider serving with sour cream, salsa or guacamole.

A big thank you to my Uncle Bill Jackson for sharing his delicious recipe!

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  1. They look yummy! We made tamales at our house last year for the first time, they were always a New Year’s family tradition when I grew up. I have been to New Mexico twice we always stayed in Mesa. My parents are from Tucson, Az. Love seeing these!!

  2. Lindsey, you are so right…New Mexico is definitely “The Land of Enchantment!” Being a native New Mexican, I’m a little bit prejudiced! These tamales make my mouth water. I love having a “tamale making retreat” at my house. Several of my friends come over and we have so much fun making dozens of tamales. Last year I think we made about 75 dozen. We divided them up and everyone went home very happy. We always have Mexican food, including tamales, for our Christmas Eve meal. Thanks for sharing!

  3. yum! I made tamales about 30 years ago with a Mexican friend and have remembered how good they were ever since.
    I had no idea you could use olive oil in the masa, that is great. My husband will want to make these soon.

  4. This tamales looks like other traditional foods. It’s amazing because these wrap of corn husks. This is my first time to see this that will used in cooking.

  5. These sound wonderful and I have just printed the recipe out. Thank you so much for sharing!

  6. I think that the quality of the chili used is central to making them delicious. I always get my chili from the Chimayo Chile Brothers. New Mexico Chile Rules! If you want to try some of the best, which actually comes from a small valley in New Mexico, get some Capsicum Annum Chimayo. You can find it here: