5.0 from 7 votes

Green Chile Pork Tamales

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Youtube video tutorial on how to make Chile verde pork tamales.

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Green Chile Pork Tamales

Recipe by Villa Cocina
5.0 from 7 votes
Course: MainCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Medium


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Cooking time




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The best pork tamales verdes are not your typical fast meal prep, but there is no doubt that it will be the best investment of your time in the kitchen. The silkiness and softness of the masa, paired with the pork covered in the green sauce, will leave you delighted every time you take a bite. The flavor from the tomatillos and peppers is only deepened by the roasting process, and the spices speak for themselves when the aromas are released into your kitchen. Unwrapping a tamal is the perfect present for anyone looking to experience the true joy of Mexican flavors. 


  • Cook the pork 

  • 4 lbs pork shoulder roast 

  • Salt and black pepper, generous 

  • 2 TBSP avocado oil

  • 10 cups of water 

  • 1 head garlic, slice end off 

  • 1 ea white onion, half 

  • 3 ea bay leaves

  • 1/2 ea bunch cilantro 

  • Green sauce 
  • 1 lb tomatillos 

  • 4 ea poblano peppers

  • 2 ea jalapeños

  • 1/2 ea white onion 

  • 6 ea garlic cloves, unpeeled  

  • 4 ea whole cloves

  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

  • 1/2 tsp whole all spice

  • 1 tsp Mexican dry oregano

  • 1/2 bunch cilantro 

  • 3 cups pork broth, warm 

  • 2 TBSP avocado oil 

  • Salt to taste

  • Corn husks
  • 26 ea corn husk + 10-15 additional ones

  • Masa Dough
  • 6 cups masa harina

  • 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt or to taste

  • 1 TBSP baking powder

  • 1/2 cup pork lard

  • 1 cup avocado oil 

  • 2 cups green sauce – reserved 

  • 2-3 cups pork broth, warm 

  • Steamer pot
  • 10 cups of water


  • Cook the pork: Cut around the bone and remove it. Now, cut the meat into large pieces. Generously season all sides with salt and ground black pepper, including the bone. 
  • Instant pot: Set the instant pot on HIGH SAUTE mode for 20 MINUTES.  You can add more time, if you run out. Press START. Once hot, pour in the avocado oil. Brown the meat and bone. Don’t over crowd the pot, be patient and do it in batches. Press CANCEL. Place all the pork back into the pot, including the bone. Pour in the water, garlic, onion, bay leaves and cilantro. COVER, secure the lid and cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 45 MINUTES, with a 10 MINUTE  NATURAL PRESSURE RELEASE. After the natural pressure release is done, QUICK RELEASE the remaining pressure. Press CANCEL and remove the lid.
  • Carefully remove the pork from the pot. Remove and discard the onion, garlic, and herbs. Strain the broth into a heat proof container, let it cool down and reserve. Remove any meat from the bone and discard it. Shred all of the meat and set aside until needed. 
  • Green sauce/salsa: Place a comal over medium to medium-high heat. Roast the poblanos and jalapeños until charred/blacked on all sides. As soon as they are ready, transfer into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow them to sweat for about 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, roast and cook the tomatillos, onion, and garlic. Some ingredients will take longer than others, remove them as soon as they look ready. And, let them slightly cool down. 
  • Corn Husks: Sort through the husks and pick the ones you need, medium-large in size. And, without holes or many dark spots. Soak in warm water for 15-30 minutes, place a plate on top to keep submerged. Then, rinse, remove corn silk, and drain.
  • Blend the sauce: Peel the skin from the peppers. Cut them open to remove the seeds and stem. Removing the seeds is optional because they encourage a spicier sauce but it’s a very personal choice. Transfer the peppers into a blender, along with the rest of the roasted ingredients; but first, remove the stem from the onion and peel from the garlic. Toast the cloves, all spice and cumin over medium heat until aromatic. Transfer into the blender along with the oregano, cilantro and broth. Blend until completely smooth. Reserve two cups of the sauce for the masa. Heat the oil over medium heat and carefully pour in the rest of the sauce. Bring to a gentle simmer, and cook for 10-15 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in the salt and then the shredded meat. Turn off the heat and let the filling cool down completely. 
  • Masa-Dough: In a large bowl combine the corn masa harina, salt and baking powder until well distributed. In a separate large bowl, beat the lard with a whisk or by hand until smooth, and fluffy. Takes 2-5 minutes depending on the method. Mix the oil gradually, as you stir continuously. Mix in half of the masa mixture. Then, incorporate the other half. By the end it should resemble the texture of wet sand. Knead in the green sauce, and feel free to use kitchen gloves just incase those peppers turned out spicy. 
  • Gradually add the broth, and knead in between additions. Stop adding broth once it forms a mass,  feels very soft, holds its shape, and is fully moistened. Could take more or less broth depending on the temperature in the environment and broth itself . Now knead the masa for 5 minutes. The end result should feel way too soft to make a tortilla, because we are pushing for a lot of moisture. But, it will hold its shape. Cover with a kitchen towel to prevent it from drying out. 
  • Click on the link HOW TO WRAP TAMALES for the full step by step directions. 
  • Cook the tamales: We need a large steamer pot. Pour in a generous amount of water and stop right before you reach the rack. Cover the rack with a few husks. Now, place three tamales in the form of a T, open side in the center to act as the base. Arrange the rest of the tamales all around, open side up. Cover them completely with husks. Let the water reach a boil over medium-high heat. Cover the pot, lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 50 minutes to 1 hr 10 minutes, or until the dough is fully cooked. 
  • Check for doneness : Remove a tamal from the pot and let it cool down for 5-10 minutes. Then, unwrap it. They are done, if it releases easily from the husk, sets up, and does not taste like raw masa. Turn off the heat, keep the pot covered and ENJOY!

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