Cranberry Red Chile Pork Tamales


  • Braised Pork:
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, medium, chopped
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 6 each dried guajillo chiles, stemmed & seeded
  • 3 each dried ancho chiles, stemmed & seeded
  • 3 each dried pasilla chiles, stemmed & seeded
  • 1 cup Ocean Spray® Craisins® 50% Less Sugar Dried Cranberries
  • 2 teaspoons cumin, ground
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, boneless, cut into 2in pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 32 corn husks
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • Masa Dough:
  • 10 ounces lard (or shortening)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile powder, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups masa harina
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth


For the Braised Pork:

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds black pepper and cook until just tender (5min). Add the chicken broth, guajillo, ancho, pasilla chiles and Craisins®, then bring to a boil.

Immediately remove from the heat and cover, let sit until the chiles have softened, approximately 10 minutes. Slowly pour the mixture into a bender with the cumin, oregano, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt and remaining black pepper and puree on low speed until very smooth. Warning, to avoid burns: leave the blender lid slightly open to let steam escape and start the blender slow and slowly increase the speed. The hot liquid could spray out if the speed is changed too quickly. An immersion or hand blender can also be used.

Pour the sauce back into the Dutch oven, and add the pork and bay leaves. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the sauce to a simmer and cook covered until the pork is very tender (about 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours).

Soak the corn husks until pliable in a bowl of hot water, using a heavy bowl or plate to keep them submerged, for about 1 hour.

Discard the bay leaves from the pork, shred the pork with 2 forks. Add the apple cider vinegar and stir to combine; adjust with salt and pepper if desired. Set aside to let cool.

For the Masa Dough:

Beat the lard, baking powder, chile powder and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl with an electric mixer (or stand mixer) until smooth and light in texture. Reduce the speed to low and add the masa harina.

Once just incorporated, slowly add 2 1/2 cups of the chicken broth and mix until combined. Test the dough by adding a pinch of dough into a cold cup of water, it should float. If not, add the remaining 1/2 cup broth and mix until combined.

Drain the husks and pat dry. Starting 1/2 inch from the wide end of a husk, spread about 3 tablespoons of the masa dough down the length of the husk, leaving a 1-inch border on the sides. Spoon 2 heaping tablespoons of the pork filling down the center of the dough, then fold in the sides of the husk, wrapping the dough around the filling. Fold up the narrow end of the husk. Repeat with the remaining husks, dough and filling.

Set a steamer basket in a large pot filled with 1 to 2 inches of water. Arrange the tamales standing open-end up in the steamer. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover and steam until the dough is firm, about 45 minutes. Remove from the steamer and wait to cool before unwrapping.

Celebrity recipe brought to you by: Jesse Tyler Ferguson


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