Carne Adovada (New Mexican Stewed Pork)


6 New Mexico chilis

4 ancho chilis

6 cloves garlic

3 Tbsp white vinegar

1 Tbsp honey

1½ tsp Mexican oregano

1½ tsp cumin powder

1 tsp salt + more to season pork

½ tsp cayenne powder

⅛ tsp ground cloves

2 Tbsp cooking oil

2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into bite sized chunks

pepper, to taste

1 medium white onion, diced

cilantro, for garnish

lime wedges, for serving


Step 1:

Cut the stems off and make a slit along the side to open them and discard the seeds.

Dry toast them in hot pan for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant (don’t burn them, as they can turn bitter).

Step 2:

Add the chilis into a small pot and add water until they are completely submerged.

Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and allow to soak for 10 minutes.

Do not discard soaking water.

Step 3:

Transfer soaked chilis, 1 cup of the soaking water, garlic, vinegar, honey, oregano, cumin salt, cayenne and cloves to a blender or food processor.

Blend until smooth.

Step 4:

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat.

Season pork chunks with salt and pepper, and brown on all sides.

Work in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan.

Remove to a plate.

Step 5:

Add onion to the skillet and sauté until translucent.

Step 6:

Add sauce into the pan along with 1 additional cup of the chili soaking water.

Stir well.

Add in the pork chunks.

Step 7:

Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 2-2.5 hours, until the pork is fork tender.

Step 8:

Before serving, skim the accumulated grease off of the top of the stew and discard.

Step 9:

Serve with your choice of rice and/or tortillas, along with cilantro and lime wedges for garnish.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size: 1 cup (approximately 240g)

Calories: 360 kcal | Total Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 520mg | Total Carbohydrates: 14g | Dietary Fiber: 4g | Sugars: 6g | Protein: 28g

Frequently Asked Questions:

What type of chilis are used in Carne Adovada?

This recipe calls for a combination of New Mexico chilis and ancho chilis, which contribute to the dish’s rich flavor and mild to moderate heat.

How do I prepare the chilis for the recipe?

Begin by removing the stems and seeds from the chilis.

Then, dry toast them in a hot pan for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

Be careful not to burn them, as this can result in bitterness.

Can I substitute any ingredients in the recipe?

While traditional Carne Adovada often uses sage instead of spinach, you can experiment with different greens based on availability and personal preference.

Additionally, you can adjust the level of heat by varying the amount of cayenne powder used.

How long should I simmer the dish for optimal flavor?

After adding the pork chunks to the sauce, bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot.

Allow it to simmer gently for 2-2.5 hours, or until the pork is tender and infused with the flavors of the sauce.

What are some suitable serving suggestions for Carne Adovada?

Carne Adovada pairs well with rice or tortillas, which can soak up the flavorful sauce.

Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with lime wedges on the side for a vibrant burst of flavor.

What are New Mexico chilis, and where can I find them?

New Mexico chilis are a type of chili pepper known for their mild to moderate heat and earthy flavor.

They are commonly used in Southwestern cuisine.

You can typically find them in the dried form in specialty grocery stores or online.

Can I adjust the level of spiciness in Carne Adovada?

Yes, you can customize the spiciness of the dish by adjusting the amount of cayenne powder used.

If you prefer a milder dish, reduce the amount of cayenne powder, or omit it altogether.

How do I ensure the pork is tender and flavorful?

Simmering the pork in the sauce for 2-2.5 hours over low heat allows the meat to absorb the flavors of the sauce and become tender.

It’s essential to cover the pot to retain moisture and prevent the pork from drying out.

Can I make Carne Adovada ahead of time?

Yes, Carne Adovada actually tastes even better when made ahead of time as the flavors have more time to meld together.

You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or freeze it for longer-term storage.

Are there any substitutes for ancho chilis if I can’t find them?

If you can’t find ancho chilis, you can substitute them with other dried chili peppers such as guajillo or pasilla chilis.

However, keep in mind that the flavor profile may vary slightly.

Can I use a different cut of pork for this recipe?

While pork shoulder is traditionally used for Carne Adovada due to its tenderness and flavor, you can also use other cuts such as pork loin or pork butt.

Just ensure that the meat is cut into bite-sized chunks for even cooking.

How do I prevent the chilis from turning bitter during toasting?

To prevent the chilis from turning bitter, be careful not to over-toast them.

Toast them in a hot pan for 1-2 minutes, just until fragrant.

Be sure to remove them from the heat as soon as they become aromatic.

Can I make Carne Adovada in a slow cooker?

Yes, you can adapt this recipe for a slow cooker.

After browning the pork and sautéing the onions, transfer everything to a slow cooker along with the sauce.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the pork is tender.

How do I know when the pork is cooked through?

The pork is cooked through when it becomes fork-tender and easily pulls apart.

You can test for doneness by piercing the meat with a fork.

If it goes in smoothly and without resistance, it’s ready.

Can I omit the cloves from the recipe if I don’t have them on hand?

While cloves add a distinct flavor to Carne Adovada, you can omit them if you don’t have them available.

The dish will still be delicious with the other spices and ingredients.

Leave A Reply