Traditional recipes

Best Carne Adovada Recipes

Best Carne Adovada Recipes

Carne Adovada Shopping Tips

Basic Latin ingredients include rice, achiote oil, adobo seasoning, and beans.

Carne Adovada Cooking Tips

Latin food often packs a lot of heat, so try to moderate the amount of chiles and spices you use for your dish.

Carne Adovada: New Mexico Red Chile Pork Stew

Carne adovada is pork stewed in a sauce of ground dried chiles. If you've never encountered it before, adovada (you may also see it as "adobada") is Spanish for “marinated." In general, this means to cook something in an adobo sauce, which is one made with chiles and flavored with spices and vinegar.

Don't be alarmed by the full cup of ground red chile powder required New Mexican red chiles are relatively mild. The stew is warming but never gets too spicy.

In New Mexico, you can find carne adovada on breakfast menus, which may well be one of the best things about New Mexico. However, it makes a delicious meal any time of day. No matter when you eat it, serve carne adovada with corn tortillas.

Note that for this stew, you want to use a tougher cut in with some fat, like the butt/shoulder. The meat will become more tender from the long, slow cooking.

Dried ground New Mexican red chile powder is available online, specialty spice retailers, and supermarkets with extensive spice selections. Keep in mind that it is different from chili powder, which often contains other ingredients such as onion powder and paprika, for example.

Recipe for Carne Adovada

If you have an hour to spare, ask a burqueño (i.e., local) where to get the best carne adovada in town. This chile-marinated, slow-cooked pork can be eaten on its own or used as filling for burritos or sopapillas. It’s as close to a state dish as New Mexico has, and there are more places to try it in Albuquerque than anywhere else in the state.

So many local restaurants make amazing carne adovada: Mary & Tito’s, Frontier, Cocina Azul, Padilla’s, Perea’s , Cecelia’s, Cervantes, Duran Central Pharmacy, Barelas Coffee House, Garcia’s Kitchen, Monica’s El Portal, El Modelo, El Bruno’s and Golden Pride to name just a few. To avoid playing favorites, we developed our own version.

  • 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder
  • 8 ounces dried New Mexican chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons lard (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 white onion, chopped roughly
  • 12 large garlic cloves, chopped roughly
  • 1½ tablespoons dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (preferably Mexican, called canela)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt

Cut pork shoulder into approximately 2-inch cubes. Set aside.

Put chiles in large heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water, and soak for 30 minutes. Add chiles to blender, reserving soaking water.

In sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm lard (or oil). Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until charred in spots, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in garlic, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, sugar, vinegar and salt. Cook another 2 minutes. Add ¼ cup chile water to deglaze pan. Add pan contents to blender.

Purée until very smooth. Use just enough soaking water to easily turn blender blades.

In large bowl, toss pork with sauce. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, and up to 2 days.

When ready to cook, heat oven to 350°F. Transfer meat and sauce to covered ovenproof pot or Dutch oven. Bring to boil over medium heat. Stir, scraping up any sticky bits from bottom. Cover tightly, and place in oven. Cook until pork falls apart when prodded with fork, at least 2½ hours.

Break up pork chunks to soak up more sauce. Sauce will thicken slightly off heat. If liquid is too thin, remove pork with a slotted spoon and reduce sauce over medium heat. Salt to taste, if necessary. Serves 8.

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Carne Adovada (Pork Braised in Red Chile Sauce)

I also like coaxing a tremendous amount of flavor out of a small number of ingredients (though I don’t shy away from recipes with long ingredient lists either!).

I am a big fan of dishes that can be made in advance and warmed up for serving. Carne Adovada actually tastes better if it is refrigerated for a day or two.

For all of these reasons, Carne Adovada is an ideal dish for me. It is, bar none, my favorite New Mexican dish.

However, it isn’t necessary to use hot or extra-hot red chile. If you’re not a fan of spicy foods, use mild or medium-hot chile. What is critical is that you use actual New Mexico dried red chile.

New Mexican Red Chile Pods

Although I rode in a car along route 66 in the 1960s to visit an uncle in Los Angeles, I never spent any appreciable time in New Mexico until August 1991. Just days into that week-long visit to Santa Fe, I had Carne Adovada at Maria’s Restaurant.

I was also enchanted by Santa Fe, as was my husband. By late 1992 we put in an offer on our first house in Santa Fe. The offer was accepted and we closed in January 1993. Thus began our love affair with Santa Fe.

We moved to Santa Fe full time in 2012 but we spent considerable time in Santa Fe every year until then (about ten times per year including all major holidays).

I was never happy with any Carne Adovada recipe that I tried, and I tried plenty, until I stumbled on a recipe from Al Lucero, the former owner of Maria’s Restaurant, in the program book for Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta a number of years ago.

In times past, when a hog was butchered in the fall, some of the meat was preserved in red chile. This chile-infused meat was later braised to become Carne Adovada. I don’t know of anyone who cures pork this way any longer but many recipes for Carne Adovada call for marinating the pork overnight in the red chile. This would seem to be closer to the traditional method, though simply marinating the meat would not produce the additional flavor that would come from actually curing the pork in the chile. Some recipes, though a minority in my experience, call for the addition of vinegar to the marinade to try to achieve more of a “cured” or “fermented” flavor.

Al Lucero’s approach is different but definitely creates an extra layer of flavor. The pork cubes are roasted first then braised in red chile. Refrigerating the completed Carne Adovada for a day or two before serving improves the flavor even more.

What I especially like about Al’s method is that it does not introduce any non-traditional ingredients to the Carne Adovada. Until I can taste Carne Adovada made from pork that is actually cured in red chile, I’m sticking with my tweaked version of Al’s method.

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Classic Carne Adovada

Servings: 6-8

Carne Adovada has several variations, but the flavor boils down to the red chile and texture is based on slow cooking until the pork is very tender. Depending on whether you cube or shred the pork, it can be used for numerous things from a burrito filling to an egg accessory. When shredding the pork, keep in mind that the acidity in the red chile starts to break down the pork. The recipe below can be prepared a day ahead of time, but I don’t suggest preparing carne adovada way ahead of time, because the red chile makes the pork pulpy within a few days.


Chile Sauce & Marinade

  • 1 Tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces (about 25) whole, dried New Mexican red chile pods
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons diced yellow onion
  • 1 Tablespoon crushed chile pequin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried Mexican oregano
  • 3 pounds thick boneless shoulder pork chops or pork loin


  1. Warm the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic and saute until the garlic begins to turn a golden hue. Immediately remove from heat.
  3. Break the stems off the chile pods and discard the seeds. Place the chiles in a sink or large bowl, rinse carefully and drain. Place the damp pods in one layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning. The chiles can have a little remaining moisture. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.
  4. Break each chile into 2-3 pieces. Puree half the pods in a blender with 2 cups of water. You will be able to see tiny pieces of chile pulp, but they should be bound in a smooth, thick liquid.
  5. Pour into the saucepan with the garlic. Repeat with remaining pods and water.
  6. Stir the remaining ingredients (onion, chile pequin, garlic salt, oregano) into the sauce and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  7. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken but should remain a little soupy. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  8. Trim fat from pork and cut meat into 1- to 2-inch cubes (smaller if you plan to use it in burritos.) Stir pork into the chile sauce and refrigerate overnight.
  9. The next day, preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  10. Oil a large baking dish that has a cover. Transfer the carne adovada and its sauce to the baking dish. Cover and bake until the meat is completely tender and sauce has cooked down, about 3 hours.
  11. Stir once about halfway through. If the sauce remains watery after 3 hours, stir well again and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes more.

Serve hot, garnished with chopped lettuce and tomato if desired.

Please leave your recipe modifications, or any questions that you may have, in the comments.

Need Chile?

If you live in an area where red chile is hard to find, you can order from the Hatch Chile Store. They ship frozen red and green chile nationwide. They have mild to hot varieties available. Each package is 1 pound, which is approximately 2 cups.

Admittedly, not your typical menu marketing campaign. But when you’re in New Mexico searching for the best carne adovada, it can count as the highest praise.

Because here, adovada&mdashan earthy dish of fork-tender hunks of braised pork stewed in a thick red sauce of pureed chilies, garlic, cumin and oregano&mdashis rough-edged, brash everyday food. It’s everywhere.

And it’s unbelievably delicious.

Which is how I found myself at Mellow Velo Bicycles in Santa Fe, asking grime-covered mechanics for their tips on the best adovada around.

The sketchy place by the strip club, of course. And the food trucks by the airport. And&mdashmy favorite tip&mdashPancho the delivery guy. I’m still not sure what that means.

Over the course of four days, I would try them all (except for Pancho’s, sadly), more than a dozen variations across a 60-mile radius encompassing Sante Fe and Albuquerque.

I ate it paired with posole, beans and Spanish rice at Mary and Tito’s Café in Albuquerque stuffed into a fluffy fried sopapilla at Atrisco Café & Bar in a Sante Fe strip mall folded into a flour tortilla with loads of cheddar at Rancho de Chimayo stacked into enchiladas at the locals-only La Choza in Santa Fe’s Railyard Park and under eggs, eaten elbow-to-elbow with ranchers at the front counter of The Pantry, also in Sante Fe.

But it wasn’t until I walked away from the crowded carry-out window at El Parasol in the town of Española, a plump adovada-stuffed burrito in hand, that I discovered my favorite.

El Parasol’s fare borders on fast food. It’s part of a small local chain started in 1958 by two young brothers&mdash10 and 12 in the day. They sold their mother’s beef tacos (15 cents) and red pork tamales (10 cents) under an umbrella, hence the name.

Their fiercely spicy, acid-sharp adovada&mdashscarfed down in my blazing-hot car, idling in the stand’s dusty parking lot&mdashwon me over. The pork was uncommonly juicy, while the spices and vinegar brightened the chili flavor better than any other version I’d tried.

The dish exists in one form or another across Latin cuisines. Spanish for “marinated,” adovada was born from necessity and subsistence. Pigs were butchered in the fall, and the meat was preserved in chili paste flavored with wild-grown garlic and oregano.

It was a natural choice. Originally from Central and South America, chilies are everywhere in the Southwest, sold in varietals little known outside the region: Big Jim, Rio Grande, Sandia, Española, Joe E. Parker. Bags of coarsely crushed dried chilies, ready to be made into adovada, turn up at farmers markets, roadside stands, even convenience stores.

Once-green chilies, sun-dried to a glossy red, woven into long ristras, hang from the rafters of Rancho de Chimayo. At El Potrero Trading Post in Chimayo, they share shelf space with religious icons.

Which helps explain why in New Mexico’s carne adovada, the chilies overshadow the meat. Wonderfully so. The dish needs little beyond those chilies. In that way, its closest relative might be the all-beef chili of Texas. (In fact, we found sweet, earthy pork paired even better with the fruity chilies. Just don’t say that in Texas.)

At Milk Street, we couldn’t cherry-pick from the amazing array of sun-dried chilies they have around Santa Fe. We needed to work with varieties that would be readily available around the country.

Mexico chilies&mdashthe widely available medium-hot chilies grown in the state&mdashand 3 ounces of fruity, smoky Mexican guajillos gave us just the right flavor. If guajillos are hard to find, another 3 ounces of New Mexico chilies can be substituted.

Six ounces of dried chilies sounds like a tremendous amount. And it is. But don’t fear the heat. We call for seeding the chilies, which keeps the finished dish in check with just a mildly warm profile.

To round out the dish, we added sweet onions&mdasha debatable addition in Santa Fe&mdashthat we softened in a spoonful of lard before adding the traditional oregano and cumin. A few teaspoons of ground coriander further boosted the chilies’ fruity flavor.

With so much flavor coming from the chilies, we discovered an extended marination of it for two hours covered, then another 90 minutes uncovered, to concentrate the sauce. Finishing the brick-red sauce with reserved chili puree and a tablespoon of molasses tied it all together.

Best Carne Adovada Recipes - Recipes

Easy Ways to Get Healthy with Carne Adovada and Use Food to Improve Your Mood. Today, I&rsquom gonna show you how to make a special dish, carne adovada. It is one of my favorites. For mine, I am going to make it a little bit tasty. This will be really delicious.

Carne Adovada

Every person knows that in order to truly be healthy you need to eat a naturally healthy and balanced diet and get a proper workout regularly. The sad thing is that, at the end of the day, we don&rsquot always have the time or energy required for a healthy lifestyle. At the end of the day, almost everyone want to go home, not to the gym. We want a yummy, greasy burger, not an equally scrumptious salad (unless we’re vegetarians). The good news is that making healthy decisions doesn’t have to be a chore. If you keep going with it, you&rsquoll get all of the required exercise and healthy food. Here are some of the best ways to be healthy and balanced.

Carne Adovada is one of the most well liked of current trending foods on earth. It is easy, it&rsquos fast, it tastes delicious. It is appreciated by millions every day. They&rsquore fine and they look fantastic. Carne Adovada is something that I&rsquove loved my entire life.

Now you realize that junk food isn&rsquot necessarily what you should eat when you are wanting to help your moods get better. Try these suggestions instead!

This is the latest video from the one that inspires me

To begin with this particular recipe, we have to first prepare a few ingredients. You can cook carne adovada using 11 ingredients and 6 steps. Here is how you can achieve that.

The ingredients needed to make Carne Adovada:

  1. Make ready 4 oz Dried Red N.M. Chiles
  2. Make ready 4 lb Boneless pork butt, cut in 1.5 inch cubes
  3. Prepare 1 tbsp Kosher salt (to season the pork)
  4. Prepare 5 garlic cloves
  5. Get 2 tbsp honey
  6. Make ready 2 tbsp white vinegar
  7. Make ready 2 tsp Mexican oregano
  8. Take 2 tsp Cumin
  9. Make ready 1 tsp Ground clove
  10. Get 1 tsp table salt
  11. Prepare 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper

Steps to make Carne Adovada:

  1. De-seed the chiles, and cut into 1 inch pieces. Steep in 4 cups boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain, but save 2 cups of the liquid. Add chiles to a blender.
  2. Add the 1 tbsp of kosher salt to the pork cubes and refrigerate 1 hour.
  3. To the chiles in the blender (see step 1), add ALL remaining ingredients (garlic through cayenne). Blend to thick paste (30 seconds). Slowly blend in 1 cup of the reserved chile water on high. Blend in 1/4 cup more until a medium thick sauce.
  4. Add pork and sauce from the blender to a Dutch Oven. Mix well to coat all pork with sauce. Bring to boil.
  5. Cover Dutch Oven and bake at 325 degrees for 2 1/2 hours. When finished, Stir well and scrape down all the crusty bits from the sides of pot.
  6. Serve with lime wedges, cilantro and corn tortillas.

So that&rsquos going to wrap it up for this special food carne adovada recipe. Thank you very much for your time. I am confident you can make this at home. There is gonna be interesting food in home recipes coming up. Remember to save this page on your browser, and share it to your loved ones, friends and colleague. Thank you for reading. Go on get cooking!

  • 4 ounces whole mild-to-medium-hot dried red New Mexican chiles (16-20 small to medium), stemmed and seeded
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 ¼ cups chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Coat a large baking dish or Dutch oven with cooking spray.

Rinse chiles spread out on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until darkened and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Let cool, then break each chile into several pieces.

Puree half the toasted chiles with 1 cup broth in a blender until only tiny pieces of chile are visible. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Puree the remaining chiles with the remaining 1 cup broth, onion, garlic, vinegar, oregano and salt until smooth. Pour into the baking dish and stir together with the rest of the sauce. Add chicken stir to coat.

Bake until the chicken is tender and the sauce is thick, about 1 1/2 hours.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Cut Down on Dishes: A rimmed baking sheet is great for everything from roasting to catching accidental drips and spills. For effortless cleanup and to keep your baking sheets in tip-top shape, line them with a layer of foil before each use.

Pressure Cooker Carne Adovada


  • ▢ 1 ounce ( 28.35 g ) Raisins
  • ▢ 2 pounds ( 907.18 g ) Boneless Pork Shoulder , cut into large pieces
  • ▢ 1/4 cup ( 58 g ) Fish Sauce
  • ▢ 1 teaspoon ( 1 teaspoon ) Oil
  • ▢ 1 cup ( 14 g ) Red Onion. chopped , chopped
  • ▢ 3 cloves ( 3 cloves ) Garlic , chopped
  • ▢ 1 teaspoon ( 1 teaspoon ) Kosher Salt
  • ▢ 1 teaspoon ( 1 teaspoon ) Dried Oregano
  • ▢ 1 tablespoon ( 1 tablespoon ) Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ▢ 1/2 teaspoon ( 0.5 teaspoon ) Ancho Chile Powder
  • ▢ 1 can ( 1 can ) Chipotle Chile in Adobo Sauce
  • ▢ 1/4 cup ( 0.03 g ) Mexican Red Chili Powder , (NOT Cayenne, look for ones that have other spices blended)
  • ▢ 1/2-3/4 ( 0.5 ) Water
  • ▢ 1/2 teaspoon ( 1 tablespoon ) Xanthan Gum , (or use a corn starch slurry)


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58 thoughts on &ldquo Taste of New Mexico: Carne Adovada &rdquo

Th real stuff is made with whole dried NM chiles. Soak them to soften them up then de-seed and de-stem them. Bring to a boil with some garlic and onion, just till the hot break, and purée. Add water to get a desired thickness and marinate AT LEAST 12 hours. Cook slowly, really slowly, in a Dutch oven or crock pot. Set aside some of the purée and add it to make a roux and you have your red chile sauce to top it off. Roll into a tortilla and top with cheese or eat without the tortilla. I also serve it with brown rice. Simple recipe. I would stear clear of chile powder or cumin.

Weighing in on the Anaheim vs. NM peppers subject: chile in New Mexico is like rum in Caribbean in the sense that there are many varieties and sometimes the best result is obtained by blending them to leverage their best characteristics. Here’s a list of the more popular ones grown and sold roughly in order of increasing hotness.

NM 64
Big Jim
Pueblo Hot

The New Mexico 64 and Sandia were pretty popular when I lived there and I still grow them here in California but the growing conditions are different so they just don’t taste the same. California Anaheims are BLAND compared to any of the above. Fortunately, I have a freezer full of frozen green from NM to keep me sane. It’s worth a flight to Albq. or Phoenix once a year to stock up. (Yes, it’s that good.)

BTW, “chili” is that red stuff from Texas/Okalahoma. I certainly appreciate it’s potential for goodness, but it’s a different beast. Using that spelling for chile causes a lot of confusion.

Thanks, everyone, for the comments. And Jack, thanks for the primer on New Mexican chiles. Regarding the chile vs. chili question, first, I did use chile throughout my post (your comment had me wondering, so I checked it again). But researching the question, I found an entertaining piece written by Carol Anne, also a New Mexican, on her entertaining blog Five O’Clock Somewhere. In it, she claims that the distinction between the two words only matters to New Mexicans.

You did indeed get it correct. But you can see that in many of the comments people used chili when they meant chile. Sometimes distinctions are important especially when you’re trying to learn or communicate beyond a mere superficial level. A hotdog (or whatever) with chili on it is good. A hot dog (or burger, or pizza or chicken sandwich or fried eggs and potatoes or … [now I’m making myself hungry] with chile on it can be heavenly.

BTW, Don’t even get me started on barbecued vs. grilled or sautéed vs. sweated or sashimi vs. sushi or… therein lies peril. Sometimes precise language is called for when the distinction is important to the speaker.

Anecdote: I worked in a New Mexican restaurant for 4 years. We’d get lots of out-of-state visitors, many quite famous. Texans would often become very confused when the the red chile they ordered arrived at the table. “What’s this? Where are the biscuits?” (Does anyone really eat chili with biscuits? Not judging: just confused.) To avoid misunderstandings I learned to preface the ordering process by asking if they were aware of the difference between Texas chili and NM chile.

Dang it. Now a want a bowl of red and some tortillas. I guess I’d better get cooking.

Thanks for the entertaining comments, Jack! And as someone who writes for a living, I’m right there with you about getting the words right. Mark Twain put it perfectly: “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—’tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.”

This meal was great. I kind of blended your recipe with the “Kate in the Kitchen” one, and then I made my famous Cabbage Pico de Gallo:

1/2 head Green Cabbage, sliced thinly
3 Jalapenos en escambeche, minced
1/4 cup Zanohorias (carrots in escambeche), diced
2 tablespoons escambeche liquid
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/3 cup chopped cilantro, including stems
Juice from 1 lime
Salt to taste

We basically threw this on top of the adovada inside a small flour tortilla and made “tacos” out of it. Very good, although because I ground my own dried chilies, this stuff was HOT! Anyways, the pork was very tender and despite the heat, reminded me of the Taco Trucks that are prevalent all over our home city, Yakima. Thanks for sharing. Check out my blog, which follows the making of a wine from vineyard to the final product:

(i’ll repeat one more time to drive the point home)

Anaheim or California Peppers.

Check out COCINAS DE NEW MEXICO, recipes put together by PNM (public service company of NM). The book offers a relatively complete listing, and variety of NM recipes, including Carne Adovado. The secret to the chile marinade is to use chile concentrate (chile caribe) rather than regular chile colorado (diluted). The seasoned pork is marinated for 8-24 hours before baking.

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