Coffee Rubbed Carnitas Tamales with Salsa Verde to Celebrate Dia de la Candelaria!

Today isn't only Super Bowl Sunday, but it's also Dia de la Candelaria. This special holiday is a Mexican Celebration that's actually a fusion of Catholic influences and native Mexican tradition. Today we celebrate with friends and family, filling our lives (and bellies) with tamales as we devote to the Niño Dios (Baby Jesus)!

This increcible recipe, featuring coffee-infused carnitas, comes to us from Chef George Duran and IMUSA. Using the IMUSA pressure cooker (available on, $54), making irressisible carnitas has never been easier. The recipe from the author of Take This Dish and Twist It is, in our humble opinion, the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon filled with love and laughter, family and friends and, of course, plenty of tamale-filled bellies.

Coffee Rubbed Carnitas Tamales with Salsa Verde to Celebrate Dia de la Candelaria!
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·         1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

·         1 tbsp. instant espresso coffee

·         1 tbsp. kosher salt

·         1 tsp. paprika

·         2 tsp. dried oregano

·         1 tsp. ground black pepper

·         1 tsp. cumin

·         ½ tsp. coriander

·         ½ tsp. cayenne pepper

·         4-5 lb. pork shoulder

·         2 tbsp. vegetable oil


·         4 C. Maseca Flour

·         2 sticks butter

·         Dried corn husk, soaked in warm water for at least an hour

·         Salt

Salsa Verde:

·         12 tomatillos, husks removed and quartered

·         6 cloves of garlic

·         1 jalapeno, seeds removed

·         2 poblano peppers, seeds removed

·         1 medium Vidalia onion

·         1 bunch cilantro

·         1 tsp. salt

·         1 tbsp lime juice


 To make carnitas, mix first 9 dry ingredients in a bowl. Rub pork shoulder throughout with the dry rub and allow to rest for a couple of hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

Heat vegetable oil on medium-high heat in the IMUSA pressure cooker and brown pork shoulder on all sides. Add enough water to almost cover the shoulder (about 3 cups) and close and lock lid. Allow to come to pressure on high heat, then lower heat to the minimum needed to maintain pressure. Cook for 60 minutes.

Turn off heat and allow pressure to release naturally (about 10-15 minutes). Pull out the meat and using two forks, shred pork meat, removing excess fat. Set aside and reserve liquid in pressure cooker.

Make tamales by mixing 4 cups of Maseca flour with 2-3 cups reserved pork stock, butter and 1 tsp. salt, until you achieve the consistency peanut butter.

Assemble the tamales by using a rubber spatula to spread about ¼ to ½ cup of dough mixture onto the center of the corn husk. Add some pulled carnitas in the center and gently fold one side of the corn husk to the other end and tie a knot at the larger end with a thin strip of corn husk, or fold up bottom end to prevent masa from slipping out. Fold over the other side of the tamale to close it.

Once all of the tamales have been assembled place them right side up into the IMUSA pressure cooker on top of a metal steaming basket, filled with an inch or two of water.

Close and lock pressure cooker and cook for 20 minutes under pressure. Use the rapid release method to remove pressure.

To make the salsa verde, add all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you reach the desired consistency. Season to taste and serve on top of each tamale.