Tamales are something that I always associate with the holidays. My grandma and great-aunt would each have tamales made at their houses for Christmas. We would visit both of them over the holidays and get our fill. It wasn’t until my grandma passed away that I realized I never asked her to teach me how to make them. Thankfully, her sister was more than willing to teach me how to make them. It involved a lot of her going you add this much of this and that much of that. Handfuls of things since she’d been making them for decades. I’ve now got it down pat though and at some point during the holidays I will hold a tamale making party and my family comes over. We cook, eat, drink, talk and just have a really great time hanging out with each other. At the end of the party everyone leaves with tamales to eat or freeze. To cut out all of that though I came up with these bite size variations, Pork Tamale Bites a perfect holiday appetizer..
To get the ball rolling on this appetizer I headed to my local Pete’s Fresh Market and picked up everything I would need to make the Pork Tamale Bites. I was able to get everything from the produce and meat to the canned La Morena Jalapeños and Maseca® Corn Flour.
The first thing that you need to do to make these Pork Tamale Bites is to cook the pork.
Once the pork has reached the point of falling apart you will need to shred it with two forks. This can be done well ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator or frozen.
Now, you can make the sauce for the pork. This is easy to do in your blender or food processor. Just blend until smooth. Once again, this can be done ahead of time.
Add the sauce to your meat and stir to coat.
Next up, it’s time to make the tamale masa. This is so easy to do and just takes a few minutes. When it’s done it should look like thick pancake batter.
Press the tamale masa into the cavities of a mini muffin/cupcake pan.
Add your meat in the sauce to the masa cavities.
When the cooking is almost complete sprinkle on some cheese and finish baking.
Let the cooked Pork Tamale Bites cool for about five minutes. Use a butter knife around the edge of the Pork Tamale Bites to loosen and then remove them from the pan.
Now you can plate, serve and wow your guests!
Now, snag your copy of the recipe and delight your guests with some amazing appetizers!
- 1 lb. pork chops
- 1 small Spanish onion, quartered
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 14 oz. can vegetable broth
- 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce seasoned with onion, garlic & cilantro
- 3 pickled jalapeno peppers, La Morena brand
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/4 tsp. Mexican oregano
- 1/8 tsp. cumin
- 2/3 c. masa (I use Maseca brand)
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 c. lard or vegetable shortening
- 5-6 oz. warm water
- 1/2 c. Mexican cheese blend
- Combine all of the ingredients for the meat portion in a pot and simmer covered until so tender it falls apart or can easily be shredded with forks.
- In a blender or food processor combine all of the ingredients for the sauce. Blend until smooth.
- In a mixing bowl combine the masa, baking powder, salt and 5 oz. of the water. Stir to combine. Thoroughly stir in the lard. Add the rest of the water if needed.
- Preheat the oven to 350° and press the prepared tamale masa (about 1 1/2 tsp.) into the cavities of a mini muffin/cupcake pan. Fill the tamale masa cups with meat and sauce mix. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Use a butter knife around the edges to loosen and then remove from pan and plate.
- You can serve with a dollop of sour cream on the top.
For more tasty recipe ideas be sure to visit the La Morena website!