• 5-6 pounds of pork shoulder cut in 2×2 cubes
  • 1 can chipotle peppers (12 oz)
  • 3 large onions sliced in ¼-inch rings
  • 3 pounds of ripe Roma tomatoes
  • 5-7 large dry California peppers
  • 3 tablespoons chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 package of Maseca masa powder for tamales
  • 2 pounds pork lard
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • Garlic cloves (use many if you love garlic)
  • Salt to taste



  1. Cook pork in enough water to cover. Add salt to taste at the end.
  2. Shred pork and set aside. Save juice for the sauce mix.
  3. In a large pan, sauté sliced onions in one tablespoon of heated lard for a few minutes, then add the shredded pork. Stir for a few more minutes together, then set aside.

Filling Sauce

  1. Cook tomatoes and peppers in enough water to cover until very soft.
  2. Blend the cooked peppers, tomatoes, and can of chipotles with garlic cloves, chicken bouillon, and pork juice.
  3. Add ½ cup of masa powder to the blender to thicken the sauce so your tamales don’t come out runny.
  4. In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of lard. Pour in your sauce mix and stir until cooked. When you feel the masa has cooked, you can stop stirring and let it cool a little.
  5. Add the pork and onion mix and fold well. The sauce should be thick when it cools, and watch the ratio of meat to sauce.


  1. Mix Maseca (save ½ cup for the filling above) with lots of water. Mix with bare hands until you reach a hummus-like consistency.
  2. Add salt and baking powder, and mix again. Add hot lard slowly and mix carefully until you reach a hummus-like consistency again.
  3. Soak the clean, washed husks in warm water and leave to soften. Then spread the masa over the husks. Make sure it’s a very thin spread, and keep in mind it’s going to expand to twice its thickness.
  4. Place a spoonful of the filling and wrap not too tightly to allow
    the expansion.
  5. Stand the tamales upright (folded side down) in a large steamer pot fitted with a steamer basket and lid. For best results, the tamales should be firmly packed, but not too tightly. I use my pasta pot. Cook for about 1 ½ hours well covered, making sure you don’t run out of water.

Makes: Around 100 (freeze them raw, then you cook one batch at a time and they’ll be like fresh)
Total Time: A few hours, but you’ll get faster over time!

recipe_lucyAbout the Chef

Name of Chef: Lucy Torres
Family Members: Husband – Joe; sons – Alex and Damian
Community: Scripps Ranch
Hobbies & Interests: Cooking and spending time with my husband and boys
Favorite Local Activity: Flying single engine airplanes all over San Diego
About the Recipe: Tamales are very traditional Mexican soul food. And yes, lard! It’s a lot healthier than hydrogenated oils, and is delicious. Corn meal is gluten-free and complex carbs. Tamales are a healthy choice if you use organic ingredients, and the nutrients are balanced. The only problem is that they’re so tasty you won’t be able to watch your portions!
About the Chef: I’m a dental hygienist and work full-time with two amazing dentists at Prostodontic. I was born in San Francisco with Mexican roots. I love to apply my knowledge of health and nutrition to my cooking. I have also ventured in my own business of beauty and fashion.