The dough for these tender tamales from Mexican star chef Enrique Olvera is flavored with black beans. The filling is a delicious, spicy and intense chile sauce. Slideshow:  How to Make Tamales 

September 2015


Recipe Summary test

1 hr
2 hrs 45 mins




Make the ancho adobo
  • In a small bowl, cover the anchos with boiling water; let stand until softened, about 15 minutes. Drain, discarding the soaking liquid.

  • In a food processor, combine the anchos, onion, garlic, vinegar and salt and puree until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl.

Make the tamales
  • In a large bowl, cover the cornhusks with hot water. Weigh down the husks with a plate and let stand until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.

  • Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, combine the masa with 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of water. Beat at low speed until a dough forms, about 2 minutes. Add the lard, beans, cilantro, epazote, scallion and salt and beat, scraping down the side of the bowl, until the mixture is well blended and light in texture, about 5 minutes.

  • For each tamale, spoon 1/4 cup of the masa in the center of a cornhusk and top with 1 tablespoon of grated cheese and 1 teaspoon of ancho adobo. Roll the husks up and over the filling to make compact cylinders, folding in the sides as you go. Tie the tamales with kitchen string.

  • Arrange the tamales in a steamer basket and set it over a pot of boiling water. Cover and steam until firm, about 1 hour. Remove the steamer basket and let the tamales stand for 15 minutes. Serve with grated cheese and the remaining adobo.

Make Ahead

The ancho adobo can be refrigerated for 1 week. The uncooked tamales can be frozen for 1 month.

Suggested Pairing

Chile spice can make tannic red wines seems even more tannic. Try these tamales with a juicy, medium-bodied Spanish red.