When you think of your favorite foods what comes to your mind? For many it’s the foods that raised them – those comforting homemade delights that will always bring a warm fuzzy feeling to your soul and smile to your face. While for most of us that boils down to craft macaroni and cheese for others, it’s a bit more of an expanded palette into international cuisine.

Today we’re learning how we can make tamales from Natasha Smith Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Sanford Health.

plated authenitc mexican tamale with green chile
Plated tamale


  • 6 cups ground corn
  • 2 cups bone broth
  • (additional lard or shortening if needed)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder for color

Mix ingredients in a stand mixer until desired consistency is reached.


Marinate a pork shoulder in the juice of 4 oranges, chopped cilantro and minced garlic and place on the pellet grill, in the juices at 215°F for 3-4 hours until it reaches 165°F. Remove the pork from the grill and rub the pork shoulder with a mix of 1 teaspoon chili powder, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Cover the pork with tinfoil and return the meat to the pellet grill. Turn the temperature up to 350°F and cook for about 2 hours until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 195°F.

Remove the tinfoil from the pan and allow the meat to rest for about 30 minutes. Shred the meat and crisp it in cast iron by using the juice from the bottom of the roasting pan and cook until the meat browns.

tamale making party
Tamale making!

Green Chile:

  • 1 lb tomatillos
  • 6 Anaheim green chiles
  • 2 jalapenos or serrano chiles
  • 1 large white onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Peel the outer husks off the tomatillos, onion, and garlic. Roast on a baking sheet until the vegetables appear charred. Place the peppers, tomatillos, garlic, onion, salt and oil in a food processor, Vitamix, or blender and pulse until smooth. Add cilantro and pulse 3.5 times—just until incorporated. Place in a stock pot to bring the sauce to a boil.

Fresh tomatillos
fresh green chile ingredients for authentic green chili
Fresh Ingredients

Assemble your tamales by smearing corn husks with the masa, fill with carnitas and green chile, and seal the tamale. Steam the tamales for 25 minutes to cook the masa and serve with cilantro lime rice—top with fresh guacamole and pico de gallo.

We’re celebrating diversity in food all week long!

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The flavors of Western Africa from Fatu’s African Market

Finished batch of tamales. Authentic Mexican tamale recipe