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Home Cooking 14

Christmas Tamales Rojos Guatemaltecos – Or never trust anyone who feeds you for no apparent reason …

rworange | Jan 3, 201108:46 AM

… especially if you are a duck.

I never fully comprehended how much work making tamales is ... particularly the special Christmas edition. The day started at 8:00 am and ended at 8:30 pm.

It is a little late for the holiday season just past, but if anyone is interested in the future, here’s the details


This recipe makes over 100 tamales. The measurements are inexact, at best. Bottles and bags of things were used. I have a number of Guatemalan cookbooks with similar recipes and will include what those books used.


4 ducks, 1 gallina (special chicken breed) and 1 regular chicken that got in the way. Actually you can use any meat that pleases you … pork, beef, turkey, goose, etc

From various cookbooks

* 10 lbs boneless pork, or boned chicken or turkey (most tamales have meat with bones)

** 1 turkey, 1 pound bacon, 3 lbs pork

* False Tongues and Sunday Bread by Copeland Marks

** Cocina Regional Guatemalteca (note doubling what is in the book as this recipe only makes 40 tamales.


Note: An 8 inch frying pan was used

dried chile guaque (chile guajillo) - one layer in the frying pan ** 6 chiles guaque
dried chile pasas (pasilla) - enough to cover the bottom of a frying pan ** 5 chiles seco
Pepino (squash seeds) - one layer in the frying pan **6 ounces
Sesame seeds - one layer in frying pan 1/2 inch deep ** 4 ounces
1 walnut (nuez)
Miltomates (tomatillos) – a small bag ** 1 lb
2 onions, quartered
Lots of Roma tomatoes ** 80 tomatoes
Red bell peppers - * 3 cups sliced
Achiote – * one teaspoon
Vegetable oil one bottle - ** 8 ounces lard
Salt – a few handfuls to taste


Masa harina (a few bags) - * 8 pounds
Rice – a bowlful ** 2 lbs
Vegetable oil – one bottle * 3 – 5 lbs of lard, butter or margarine
Saborin - A few handfuls
Powdered chicken bouillon – A few handfuls
Salt – a few handfuls to taste
Water – enough for the right consistency * 25 quarts


Green olives (with seeds) - one bag ** 1 lb
Raisins – a few bags or about 400 – 600
Prunes – a few bags or about 100 – 200
Red peppers – sliced in strips or enough for 1 – 2 strips per tamal

A stack of plantano leaves – about 100
A bundle of cibaque to tie the tamales
A few bundles of hoja de sal (Maxan leaves)

The first reply will start the instructions

All 75 photos and step by step instructions are in this Flicrk photo stream

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