Masa for Tamales


When using dry masa:

4.4 lb bag of instant corn tortilla mix (2kg)

1 ½ lbs pork lard or vegetable shortening (680gr)

2 tbls. sea salt (24gr)

1 gallon plus one quart of pork stock, slightly warmed (4lt.-5lt.)

When using freshly ground masa:

10 lbs. freshly ground masa (4.5kg)

1 lb. pork lard (500gr)

2 tbls sea salt (24gr)

3-4 cups of pork stock, slightly warmed (720ml-1lt.)


In a large bowl or pan (I usually use a turkey roaster or a clean dish pan) add the dry or freshly ground masa. Knead in the pork lard (or shortening) and salt. Add pork broth one cup at a time.  Continue to knead and add broth until the masa is cohesive, and is smooth to the touch. Taste for salt, and add more if necessary. Once the masa is smooth and free of lumps, and ceases to stick to your hands, it is ready for use.

Makes 17 lbs of masa, enough for 12 doz. tamales


Tip: You can make vegetarian tamales by using vegetable shortening and water in place of pork lard and stock. Use cheese or a chopped vegetable guisado for the filling

Keywords: tamales, tamal, masa, dough