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4.98 from 41 votes

Shredded Pork with Red Sauce Tamale Filling

Authentic Mexican tamales filled with Shredded Pork with Red Sauce.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 20
Calories: 57kcal
Author: Lauren Allen


For the pork:

  • 1 1/2 pounds pork loin shoulder or butt
  • 1 large onion , chopped
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Red Chile Sauce:

  • 4 dried california chile pods
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon oil (vegetable or canola oil)
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


For the pork:

  • Place pork, onion, bay leaf, garlic, oregano, cumin and salt and pepper in a slow cooker. 
  • Cover the pork with water and cook on LOW for 8 hours or overnight.
  • (If you would rather cook it on the stovetop, follow the same directions, adding everything to a large pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until pork is tender, 2-4 hours.)

Meanwhile, make the red sauce.

  • Use rubber gloves to remove the stems and seeds from the dried chiles while rinsing them under cold water. 
  • Place chiles in a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, then remove from heat. 
  • Transfer the chiles and water to a blender. Add oregano, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, garlic and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  • In the same saucepan you used to cook the chiles, add oil and cook over medium heat. 
  • Add flour and salt and stir for 1 minute. Strain the chile sauce from the blender and add it to the saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  • Drain the cooked pork (reserve the broth for use in the tamale masa dough, if desired) and shred the meat with a fork. 
  • Add chile sauce to the meat, reserving 1/4 cup sauce, and stir in enough of the reserved broth to form a moist, spreadable mixture. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.


Calories: 57kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 168mg | Potassium: 145mg | Vitamin A: 80IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.4mg