Recipe courtesy of Grasslands Entertainment

Martinez Tamales

  • Yield: 6 servings
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1 lb. chicken, cooked and shredded or cubed

1 lb. pork, cooked and shredded or cubed

12 corn leaves or husks soaked in water for at least an hour (to soften them up)

Tamales Sauce:

7 guajillo chilis

7 ancho chilis

4-5 leaves of anise flavoured herb - Hierba Santa

1 cup masa, (fine ground corn meal) (250 ml.)

1/2-cup water (120 ml.)

1-2 oz. mescal

store-bought tamales (or tortillas)


  1. TAMALES: Place the chicken and pork in separate pots, add water until meat is covered and bring to a boil. You can add a pinch of salt to the water if you like, but don't worry about seasoning the meat as the tamales sauce if very flavorful. Turn heat to medium low. Simmer for an hour or until meat starts falling off the bone. Once cooked, cut the meat off the bone and chop it into small pieces. Set aside. 
  2. SAUCE: Heat a medium-sized skillet over high heat, cook whole chilis for about 2 minutes. Remove, cool and then grind with a mortar and pestel until the chilis turn into a paste. Use the mortar and pestel to grind the anise herbs into a paste. Combine both the anise herbs and chilis in a bowl. Mix thoroughly. Add the masa and water to make mixture smooth in consistency (creamy, not runny). Put mixture in a pot and over medium heat cook for about 20 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Cool slightly then stir in 1 to 2 ounces of mezcal. 
  3. ASSEMBLY: Put tamales in your hand. Spread the tamales sauce on tamale. Add 2 or 3 pieces each of the pork and chicken, fold over and seal edges with fingers. Now wrap the corn leaf, or husk, around the Tamale and tuck in the end to secure the wrap. Place in big steamer pot and steam-cook them for about 25 minutes. 
  4. Plating: Find the tucked-in end of the corn husk and gently pull it out. Place the tamale on a plate and enjoy!

Cook’s Note

Tamales are made in stages. Cook the chicken and pork before the sauce.