Tamale with Spanish Braised Pork Shank and White Peach Salsa

Chef Richard 8 Servings 4 hours

The best and easiest Tamale with Spanish Braised Pork Shank and White Peach Salsa you’ll ever make—and eat!


  • 6 fresh pork shank pieces, 1½ pound each
  • ½ pound bacon, slices, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped, in juice
  • 2 cups chicken broth, lower sodium
  • 2 cups dry sherry
  • 4 dried Ancho chiles, halved lengthwise, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

Masa Dough:

  • 1½ to 2 cups chicken broth, lower sodium
  • pinch saffron, Spanish (optional)
  • 1⅓ cups lard, or solid vegetable shortening, room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 3½ cups masa harina, (instant corn masa flour)

Peach Salsa:

  • 1¾ cups peaches, peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup green onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, or key lime juice
  • 1-3 teaspoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon serrano chile, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • ¼ 8-ounce package dried corn husks, soaked in water for several hours or overnight


  • Tamale Filling: Preheat oven to 350°F. Season the shanks liberally with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12-inch deep skillet or braiser over medium-high heat. Working in 2 or 3 batches, brown the shank well and transfer to a large, deep roaster with a tight fitting lid; set aside.
  • Add the bacon, carrots, onions, garlic and thyme to the skillet. Sauté until onion softens, approximately 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat. Add the tomatoes with juice, broth, Sherry, chiles, tomato paste, chili powder, paprika, cumin and coriander. Return skillet to heat and bring to boil, scraping the brown bits stuck on the bottom of the pan.
  • Pour tomato mixture over shanks in roaster. Cover and place in the oven and braise until the shanks are very tender about 2½ to 3 hours. Remove the pork shanks from the roaster and allow to cool. Strain liquid; discard solids. Transfer liquid to large bowl and refrigerate until fat forms layer on top. Spoon off fat and discard. Place 2 cups of juices in small saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, to reduce to 1½ cups. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Masa Dough: Before starting, bring the broth and, if desired, the saffron threads to boil. Simmer for about 3-4 minutes. Strain the saffron threads from the broth and chill completely.
  • Using an upright electric mixer, beat lard with salt and baking powder in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in half of the masa harina until combined. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in ¾ cup of the broth.
  • Repeat with remaining masa harina and ¾ cup broth, forming soft dough. If dough seems too firm, add more broth to soften. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside.
  • Peach Salsa: Mix peaches, red bell pepper, green onions, key lime juice, cilantro, serrano chili, ginger and garlic in a medium bowl and fold together to blend. If desired, season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.
  • Open husks on a work surface. If necessary, lightly pat with paper towel to remove excess moisture. Form ¼ cup dough into a 4-inch log. Place log in center of husk and pat dough to a 5×4-inch rectangle, leaving ½-inch space on one long edge of husk.
  • Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons filling down center of dough. Bring the long edge of husk up and over filling then continue to roll up wrapper jelly-roll style. Tie ends closed with tips of corn husks or string.
  • Place tamales on an open steamer basket in large skillet. Add water to just below basket level. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to gently simmer water. Cover and steam tamales for 45 to 50 minutes or until tamale dough is cooked through and tamale pull easily away from husks.
  • To serve open the husk to expose the masa. Spoon peach salsa on top and garnish with cilantro and serve.