Making classic Mexican tamales can be an all-day project. The Instant Pot cuts the timing in half—streamlining the process by cooking the meat quickly and in the same pot that steams the finished tamales.
3/4poundpork shoulderboneless, cut into 4-inch cubes
1/4cupfresh cilantro leavesfinely chopped
4cupscorn masa mixmasa harina for tamales
1 1/2teaspoonsbaking powder
2/3cupsolid vegetable shorteningmelted
16inlarge corn huskssoakedwater to cover for 1 hour
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Season the pork generously with salt and pepper. Select Sauté on the Instant Pot and warm the oil. In batches, sear the pork until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a plate.
Add the onions to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the cumin and garlic powder, return the pork to the pot, add the broth and chiles, and give everything a good stir.
Lock the lid in place and turn the valve to Sealing. Press the Keep Warm/Cancel button to reset the program, then press the Manual/Pressure Cook button and set the cook time for 1 hour at high pressure.
Let the steam release naturally for about 10 minutes, then turn the valve to Venting to release any residual steam.
Carefully remove the lid and, using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork mixture to a bowl. Using 2 forks, shred the pork.
Add the cilantro, season with salt and pepper, stir well and let cool to room temperature. Using pot holders, lift out the inner pot, rinse well, and return the inner pot to the Instant Pot housing.
In a large bowl, mix the corn masa mix, salt, and baking powder, then stir in 3 cups of the water until blended.
Stir in the vegetable shortening, then knead the masa against the side of the bowl until incorporated.
Remove the husks from the water and pat dry. Place the husks on a work surface with the narrow ends facing you.
One at a time, spread about 3 tablespoons of the masa mixture onto the widest part of a husk and top the masa with about 1 tablespoon of the pork mixture. Fold in the sides of the husk to enclose the filling, then fold up the bottom narrow flap of husk over the center and secure with a narrow strip of the husk. Repeat until all the filling is used.
Pour the remaining 1 cup water into the Instant Pot and insert the steam rack.
Arrange the tamales on the rack, standing them upright. Lock the lid in place and turn the valve to Sealing.
Press the Manual/Pressure Cook button and set the cook time for 40 minutes at high pressure. Let the steam release naturally for about 10 minutes, then turn the valve to Venting to release any residual steam.
Carefully remove the lid and transfer the tamales to a plate. Let stand for 15–30 minutes to set up before serving.