Alabama Tamales


  • 55 g Calabrian hot pepper powder
  • 55 g Chili powder
  • 24 g Salt
  • 17 g Freshly ground black pepper
  • 17 g Dried oregano
  • 17 g Ground cumin
  • 7 g Ground cloves
  • 7 g Ground coriander
  • 10 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1-1/4 c Distilled white vinegar
  • 3 T Water
  • 1 T Vegetable oil
  • 5-1/2 lb. Boneless pork butt, cut into 3⁄4-inch pieces
  • 3 c Masa
  • 1 Large sweet potato, baked and peeled
  • 1 c Lard
  • 2 T Paprika
  • 1-1/2 T Chili powder
  • 1 T Salt
  • Whole collard greens, about 20 leaves


Combine chili powders, salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, cloves and coriander. Add garlic, vinegar, water and vegetable oil and fold pork into spice mix. Cure overnight; process into chorizo using small grinder plate; refrigerate until ready to use.

Mix together masa, sweet potato, lard, paprika, chili powder and salt; knead lightly into dough.

To build the tamales, shape masa into four separate 4-ounce patties and place one on a collard leaf. Add 2 ounces chorizo mix and roll collard into burrito shape. Wrap into foil packages. Steam for 15 minutes before serving. Makes about 18 to 20 tamales. 

Chef David Bancroft, Acre and Bow & Arrow, Auburn, Alabama, from Food Fanatics Magazine®