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Chorizo and Potato Tamales

Menu PartEntree
Cuisine TypeMexican
Chorizo and Potato Tamales

Executive chef Jason Strotheide

Michigan State University

East Lansing, Mich.

If your Cinco de Mayo spread wouldn’t be complete without homemade tamales, try this authentic yet easy-to-execute recipe. It was developed in the kitchens of Michigan State University, and MSU executive chef Jason Strotheide modified it for production to use at events. This plated presentation is designed for a sit-down meal, but the tamales work equally well on a buffet.



8 ounces lard

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. kosher salt

3 cups masa harina (corn tortilla flour)

3 cups chicken stock

1½ cups potato flakes or instant mashed potatoes


3 cups yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-in. cubes

3 cups chorizo

1½ cups chopped yellow onions

1 tsp. dried oregano

Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

30 corn husks for tamales, soaked for 1 hr. in water


  1. Prepare dough: In mixing bowl, combine lard, baking powder and salt. With electric mixer, beat a medium-high speed until whipped, about 1 minute. Add masa, one quarter at a time, beating after each addition until thoroughly incorporated.
  2. Add chicken stock; continue beating until dough is light. Beat in potato flakes until incorporated. Dough should be soft and spreadable. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.
  3. Prepare filling: In medium saucepan, combine potato cubes and enough salted water to cover; bring to a boil. Cook potatoes until tender, 5 to 7 minutes; drain.
  4. Meanwhile, remove tamale dough from refrigerator and rewhip to return to soft texture. In heavy skillet over medium heat, cook chorizo with onions about 5 minutes, stirring to break up chorizo. Stir in cubed potatoes, oregano and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. For tamales, spoon roughly ¼ cup of masa dough on each soaked corn husk. Spread dough in thin later; spoon 3 tablespoons chorizo-potato mixture on top. To seal, take both ends of corn husk and roll together so masa dough covers chorizo filling. Arrange on sheet pan, folded-side down. Repeat with remaining tamales.
  6. Place tamales in steamer and steam for 45 minutes until dough is tender and tamales are heated through. To serve, top with salsa, relish or other condiments. Serve immediately.

Photo courtesy of Potatoes USA


Tamales can be cooled and frozen up to 6 weeks in advance.

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