Crock-pot Red Pork Tamale Filling Recipe

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I’ve mentioned my love of Tamales a few times and was tickled to learn how to make my own a few years ago!  This year for our cousin Christmas party my Brother in Law and sister and I made a huge batch!  They brought the green chicken tomatillo filling (that I’ll share another time) and I was in charge of the red pork filling!  I scoured the internet and found a great recipe!

crock-pot-red-pork-tamales-recipe

Crock-pot red pork tamale filling
3-3½-lbs boneless pork shoulder or Boston butt, cut into 3-inch chunks and trimmed
1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
6 medium cloves garlic, lightly smashed and peeled
4 dried bay leaves, toasted
2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme, marjoram, or mild oregano, or 1 Tbs. dried Mexican oregano
20 dried red chiles:  guajillo, New Mexico Big Jim and/or Ancho – they all work well
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Black peppercorns

red-pork-tamales-seeds

First de-stem and de-seed your chilies

red-pork-tamales-dry-chilies

Soak the red chilies in hot water until they are soft.  Weight them down, I used another bowl on top of the chilies. The recipe called for 20, but they are such different sizes I wasn’t sure how many to do, this mixture of chilies tasted great, but I wish I’d added even more (but I like it spicy)

red-pork-tamales-toasting-bay-leaves

Toast your bay leaves however you like.  I cooked them in a dry skillet over low heat on the stove.

red-pork-tamales-soak-chilies

Your chilies should be nice and soft now, put them in a blender, but retain the chile water (use gloves or tongs)

red-pork-tamales-blending-

Add the garlic, onion, thyme, marjoram, oregano, salt and pepper with the chilies to the blender and blend until smooth.

red-pork-tamales-chili-water

If it’s too thick or not blending well add some of your chile water to the blender. I used about half a cup

red-pork-tamales-marinading

In a large enough bowl so the meat can be covered (or in a large gallon size zip-lock freezer bag, like me), add the cubed pork and smother with the chile mix so that it can marinate for a minimum of 3 hours.

red-pork-tamales-cooking

After marinating for a sufficient amount of time, add the meat and the chile mixture to your slow cooker and cook on low overnight (or all day depending on what time your going to make your tamales, you want a good 8 hours).

red-pork-tamales-cooked

When it’s done shred the pork and your ready to go!  This recipe is not only great for tamales, but we ate the leftovers in burritos, taco’s and anything else you can think of, even by itself (mmmmm) over the next few days.

red-pork-tamales-beans

Serve with your favorite Beans, salsa and sour cream!

Crock-pot Red Pork Tamale Filling Recipe

Crock-pot Red Pork Tamale Filling Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3-3½-lbs boneless pork shoulder or Boston butt, cut into 3-inch chunks and trimmed
  • 1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, lightly smashed and peeled
  • 4 dried bay leaves, toasted
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme, marjoram, or mild oregano, or 1 Tbs. dried Mexican oregano
  • 20-30 dried red chiles: guajillo, New Mexico Big Jim and/or Ancho - they all work well
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black peppercorns

Directions

  1. First de-stem and de-seed your chilies
  2. Soak the red chilies in hot water until they are soft. Weight them down, I used another bowl on top of the chilies. The recipe called for 20, but they are such different sizes I wasn't sure how many to do, this mixture of chilies tasted great, but I wish I'd added even more (but I like it spicy)
  3. Toast your bay leaves however you like. I cooked them in a dry skillet over low heat on the stove.
  4. Your chilies should be nice and soft now, put them in a blender, but retain the chile water (use gloves or tongs)
  5. Add the garlic, onion, thyme, marjoram, oregano, salt and pepper with the chilies to the blender and blend until smooth.
  6. If it's too thick or not blending well add some of your chile water to the blender. I used about half a cup
  7. In a large enough bowl so the meat can be covered (or in a large gallon size zip-lock freezer bag, like me), add the cubed pork and smother with the chile mix so that it can marinate for a minimum of 3 hours.
  8. After marinating for a sufficient amount of time, add the meat and the chile mixture to your slow cooker and cook on low overnight (or all day depending on what time your going to make your tamales, you want a good 8 hours).
  9. When it's done shred the pork and your ready to fill your tamales!
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Ashlee
Ashlee has been cake decorating for 9 year, and blogging for 7+. She has 5 children ages 3-13 that she enjoys throwing parties for. She loves to bake, cook, crochet, knit, do home improvement, graphic design, photography and writing.
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Comments

  1. says

    Boy, do these look good! I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to spice so I’d probably have to cut back on the chilies, but my husband would love it extra-spicy! Either way, your tamales look delicious!

  2. Christine says

    I’m confused! You call this a red beef recipe but then you say to use pork. If you actually did beef, what cut of beef did you use?

    • says

      GAH@! you are the only person who caught this! I just updated the post, it’s totally pork… I am apparently CRAZY! Thanks for the catch.

  3. Christine says

    Lol! I was reading the other comments and was starting to think I was crazy that no one else noticed it. It looks great. Can’t wait to give it a try.

  4. Jenny says

    2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme, marjoram, or mild oregano, or 1 Tbs. dried Mexican oregano

    How much majoram and oregano should i add?

    • says

      it’s 2-3 sprigs of… fresh thyme, OR marjoram OR oregano, or a mixture of it all adding up to 2-3 sprigs, or if you don’t have fresh use the dried spices.

  5. says

    Just wanted to thank you for the great red pork tamale recipe above. I used most of the instructions with some variations in technique (didn’t marinate, nor did I have a crock pot) and additional spices and made my first ever pulled pork. It was amazingly delicious in buns and then the next day I made my first ever tamales using the pulled pork as a filling. Great recipe.

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