Tamal en Hoja

Cuban tamales are not stuffed like a Mexican tamal; instead, they are riddled with small chunks of meat. Learn how to prepare Cuban Tamales by following this easy recipe. Serve hot with a tomato sauce or ketchup and accompany them with a cold beer. Try it yourself!


  • 1/4 cup olive oil for frying
  • 1 1/2 lb pork stew meat, cut into small chunks
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 1 large red pepper, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of tomato sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups ground corn
  • 3/4 cups butter
  • 2 1/2 cups masa harina
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 24 to 32 corn husks
  • Water to boil


In a saucepan, fry the pork and in the excess fat make a sofrito by frying the onion and red pepper at medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Add garlic and continue to fry on low-medium heat for two to three minutes. Add tomato sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes, until meat is cooked through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

While your meat simmers, process the corn kernels with either a mortal and pastel or a food processor with the butter until you have a chunky consistency. Add the corn mixture to the masa harina and chicken broth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the masa mixture with the meat mixture and stir until well combined, adding salt as needed.

Use two corn husks per tamale, folding each tamal in the traditional manner.

Fill a large pot about half way with water and boil your tamales until a fork comes out clean, about one hour to one hour 30 minutes.