Pulled Pork Tamales


OK, This is one I have been wanting to try for about two years.  I decided to smoke a pork butt I had in the freezer.  I used a different rub than usual – a little more Mexican flavor.    Making the dough was pretty painless, wished I had made a double batch the first time though.


1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup paprika
3 tablespoons sea salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons pepper
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons cayenne
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes


Per the instructions on the flour package.  I used chicken broth instead of water for additional flavor.


  1. Drizzled the butt with Garlic Olive Oil, and rubbed with the Mexican rub.  Because I was thawing this butt out, I wasn’t able to rub it in advance.  Next time I will rub it 24 hours in advance for more flavor.
  2. Smoked the butt 2 hours, then 8 hours at 225, wrapped and finished at 275 until IT 195.  Pulled and let sit in a strainer to allow some of the excess fat/grease to drain.
  3. Sauteed one onion, five cloves of garlic, and four jalapenos.  Ordinarily I would have wrapped these in with the butt so it would pick up more of the flavor, but I hadn’t picked-up the groceries yet…
  4. Pureed the onion/garlic/jalapeno mixture, and mixed it in with the pulled pork (this could easily have been hotter.  Might use some red chiles next time for more flavor).
  5. Soaked a package of dried corn husks for about 1 hour.
  6. Made the dough.
  7. Laid-out corn husks, and applied a rectangle of dough.
  8. Added some pork, and rolled each (folding the ends).  If you had a good sauce, you could add a little at this point too – it would add extra moisture and flavor.
  9. Put them vertically into a steamer, covered with a hand towel, steamed for about 1 hour.
  10. Unwrapped, drizzled in green chile sauce, and served with some Spanish rice.

First time ever making tamales and there are a few things I would do differently – but these were a hit, with my wife saying this was her favorite pulled pork preparation to date!

NOTE:  After I made these I did a little more research into some other recipes.  Next time I’ll simmer the pork in the sauce to add moisture to the inside of the tamales, and I won’t need as much sauce on the outside.