We put BBQ in Authentic Tamales!

Tamales are already delicious, adding smoked ingredients combines two of our beloved foods!

Tamales are something that gets done regularly during Christmas time... But they're great any time of year. This is our take on Natalie's family recipe.

Want a visual guide? Watch the video!


Two pounds of masa makes approximately a dozen tamales. So if you want to adjust this recipe you know how much masa you’ll need. 

Savory Masa Ingredients
  • 6lb of Masa Preparada (prepared)
  • ¼ to ⅓  cups of Chicken Broth - add based on consistency.
  • Approximately 2-3 tbs of Salt (you want the masa to be very SALTY)
  • Place your  masa into your stand mixer.  Using your paddle attachment blend on high to med high.  I split my masa into two batches (it's easier to mix). Splash a little chicken broth to loosen up the masa. However, it shouldn't be too runny. I whipped the masa for about 10 min. Fill a glass with water to the top. Drop a dollop of masa into the glass. If the masa floats to the top, your good to go! 
  • Fold in the salt to the masa, the masa should be very salty. Continue salting until you reach the point where the masa is salty. When the masa is cooked it will taste just right.  
  • Divide the masa into 2 lbs sections.
Rajas con Queso (Poblano peppers & Cheese) Ingredients
  • 16oz of Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 2 Poblano Peppers
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 of a white onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper (optional)
  • 1 Serrano pepper (optional)
  • Knorr Chicken Bouillon to taste
  • In a flat griddle pan on medium- high heat roast tomatoes, poblano, jalapenos and serrano peppers. Roast until the skin is charred. 
  • Place roasted poblano peppers in a paper bag or ziplock bag to sweat out. This loosens the skins from the pepper. Once the peppers have cooled, peel charred skins.
  • Cut poblanos into ½ inch strips
  • Blend tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeno and serrano peppers.  
  • Mix tomato salsa and sliced poblanos.
  • Cut block cheese into 1 inch x  1 inch strips. 
  • When assembling these tamales, place 2 pepper strips, 2 spoonful of salsa and one strip of cheese. 
Green Chile Salsa for Pork Tamales
  • 8 Tomatillos
  • 2 Yellow chili peppers
  • 1 Serrano pepper
  • 1/2 of a white onion
  • 2  clove of garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • Knorr Chicken Bouillon to taste
  • In a medium size pot, place tomatillos and peppers in the pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and remove from heat when tomatillos  and peppers have softened and turned a darker green. 
  • Blend tomatillos, peppers, onion, garlic and water. You’ll most likely use all the water in the pot but start with half of what is in the pot. You don’t want the salsa to be too runny. 
  • Add Salt and Knorr to taste.
  • Mix pork into the salsa.

Red Mole for Beef Tamales
  • 1 Roma tomato
  • 1 Dried California pepper
  • 4 Dried Chile de Árbol
  • 1 Dried Pasilla-Ancho chile
  • 1 Corn tortillas
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp of sesame seeds
  • 2 Tbsp of pepitas
  • 2 Large peppercorns
  • Knorr Chicken Bouillon to taste
  • ¼ of tsp of vegetable oil
  • Chicken broth as needed
  • In a flat griddle pan on medium-high heat roast tomato. Roast until the skin is charred and set aside. 
  • In a medium saucepan, flash fry all ingredients (except tomato) with vegetable oil on low to medium heat. Fry the chiles until the skins turn dark red. Fry the tortilla,  seeds, bay leaf and peppercorns until golden brown. 
  • Blend all ingredients and add chicken broth if needed. You are looking for a smooth texture. 
  • Mix beef  into the mole.

Smoked Beef and Pork

  • You’ll need 3lb chuck roast and 3lb pork butt. 
  • Smoke beef and pork at 250 degrees until temperature reaches 203 degrees
    Corn Husks
    • Soak corn husks overnight, ensure all husk are submerged under water. 
    • You’ll need about two 1lb packages of corn husks. This should be more than sufficient for this recipe. You’ll most likely have extra but this allows you to be selective with the husks you use. You want to select the husks free of holes and bigger in size. 
    Sweet Masa Ingredients
    • 1lb of Masa Preparada (prepared)
    • 1 cup of sugar (you want the masa to be very SWEET)
    • ¼  cup of ground cinnamon
    • Feel free to adjust the sugar and cinnamon to taste.
    • Place your  masa into your stand mixer.  Using your paddle attachment blend on high to med high.  I whipped the masa for about 10 min. Fill a glass with water to the top. Drop a dollop of masa into the glass. If the masa floats to the top, your good to go! 
    •  Fold in the sugar and cinnamon into  the masa. The masa should taste very sweet. When the masa is cooked it will taste just right. 
        Smoked Chocolate Chips for Sweet Tamales
        • 8oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips
        • Set up a bowl with ice and stack another bowl on top with chocolate chips. 
        • Smoke at 150 degrees  for 10 to 15 mins. Check chocolate chips often to ensure chips aren’t melting. 
        • When assembling the sweet tamales, add as many chips as you’d like in the center of the tamale. 
        Assembly of Tamales
        • If you have a group making tamales, make sure everyone is using the same size spoon. We want to make all the tamales the same size so they cook evenly.  I used a big spoon from my silverware.  Take approximately 3 spoonfuls of masa, starting from the center of the husk and spreading down toward the wide side of the corn husk. Spread the masa on the smooth side of the husk. The rough side of the husk should always be on the outside.
        • Create a small divot in the middle of the masa. Fill the divot with the  filling. 
        • Fold the sides and fold the narrow end of the corn husk back.
          Cooking Tamales
          • Fill your tamale pot with water up to the indicated line in the pot. 
          • Place tamales vertically into the pot. Fill the pot until nearly  full but do not jam  or overcrowd the pot. 
          • Cover the tamales with a clean kitchen towel and close the pot with the lid. 
          • Set the burner on high heat, once the water starts to boil. Turn down the heat to medium- low and simmer for about 45 mins.  Checking periodically to make sure there is sufficient water in the pot. The water can evaporate through the cook. 
          • Check tamales doneness at about the 30 min mark. If the masa is still runny you can continue to cook. If the tamale is firm at the top, you can take one out to see if it has cooked to its entirety before taking them all out of the pot. 
          • Enjoy the light, fluffy, delicious tamales!

          Want to be comfortable while you make it? Pick up a pair Grillslingers of Flip Flops!


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