Carne Adovada Recipe: Exploring the Flavors of New Mexico
Prepare to indulge in a rich and hearty dish that captures the essence of New Mexican cuisine – Carne Adovada, a succulent red chile pork that’s as vibrant as the state’s landscapes. This traditional recipe combines the warmth of dried red chiles with tender pork, creating a harmonious symphony of flavors that will leave you craving more. Join us as we journey through the steps of crafting this iconic dish that holds a special place in the heart of New Mexico.
Table of Contents
- Ingredients You’ll Need
- Preparing the Marinade
- Marinating the Pork
- Slow Cooking for Optimal Flavor
- Serving Suggestions
- Cooking Tips and Variations
- The Cultural Significance of Carne Adovada
- Pairing Your Carne Adovada
- Frequently Asked Questions
Carne Adovada is a beloved dish that embodies the bold and spicy flavors of New Mexican cuisine. With its roots tracing back to the state’s rich culinary heritage, this dish is a true testament to the region’s love for chiles and pork. The combination of tender pork pieces and a rich red chile marinade creates a symphony of taste that’s both comforting and exhilarating.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Pork shoulder or pork butt, cubed
- Dried New Mexico red chiles
- Garlic cloves
- Mexican oregano
- Ground cumin
- Apple cider vinegar
- Salt and pepper
Preparing the Marinade
- Begin by removing the stems and seeds from the dried New Mexico red chiles.
- Toast the chiles in a dry skillet until they become fragrant.
- Soak the toasted chiles in hot water until they soften.
- In a blender, combine the soaked chiles, garlic cloves, Mexican oregano, ground cumin, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper.
- Blend until you achieve a smooth and vibrant red chile marinade.
Marinating the Pork
- Place the cubed pork in a large bowl and pour the red chile marinade over it.
- Ensure that each piece of pork is coated with the marinade.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or ideally overnight. This allows the flavors to infuse deeply into the meat.
Slow Cooking for Optimal Flavor
- Preheat your oven to a low temperature, around 300°F (150°C).
- Transfer the marinated pork and marinade into a baking dish.
- Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil to retain moisture.
- Slow-cook the pork in the oven for several hours, until it becomes incredibly tender and flavorful.
Serve your Carne Adovada with warm flour tortillas, allowing you to create delectable tacos. You can also serve it alongside Mexican rice, refried beans, and a refreshing avocado salsa for a complete and satisfying meal.
Cooking Tips and Variations
- For a smokier flavor, add a small amount of smoked paprika to the marinade.
- Adjust the level of spiciness by adding more or fewer chiles, depending on your preference.
- Experiment with different cuts of pork for varying textures.
The Cultural Significance of Carne Adovada
Carne Adovada is more than just a dish – it’s a celebration of New Mexican culture and culinary heritage. The combination of indigenous chiles and Spanish-influenced pork reflects the region’s rich history.
Pairing Your Carne Adovada
To balance the bold flavors of Carne Adovada, consider pairing it with a refreshing and slightly sweet horchata, or opt for a crisp Mexican lager. These beverages complement the dish’s spiciness and enhance the overall dining experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Carne Adovada very spicy?
The spiciness level can be adjusted by controlling the amount of dried chiles you use.
Can I use a different type of pork?
Absolutely! Pork shoulder or butt work best, but you can explore other cuts as well.
How long does the slow cooking process take?
Slow-cook the pork for around 3 to 4 hours, until it’s tender and easily falls apart.
Is it possible to make Carne Adovada in advance?
Yes, the flavors often deepen when reheated the next day.
Can I freeze leftover Carne Adovada?
Certainly! Portion it out and store it in the freezer for future enjoyment.
Embark on a culinary adventure with Carne Adovada, where New Mexico’s vibrant flavors and rich history come together in each mouthwatering bite. This dish encapsulates the essence of a region known for its love of chiles and its reverence for tradition.
- 3 lb boneless pork butt or shoulder trimmed and cut into 1.5-inch chunks
- 4 dried ancho chiles stems and seeds removed
- 4 pasilla or New Mexico chiles (or a combination of both) stems and seeds removed
- 2 cups chicken broth or water
- 1-3 chipotle chipotles in adobo sauce
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 6 garlic cloves peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp dried Mexican oregano
- ⅛ tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Make the sauce:
- In a small saucepan, place the dried chiles and broth and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to low. With a spoon, push the dried chiles down to make sure they are completely submerged in the broth.Cover and simmer until the chiles become soft, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat, uncover the pot and allow to cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
- Transfer the chiles and about half of their liquid to a blender. Add the chipotles in adobo sauce plus some extra adobo sauce (see notes), honey, white wine vinegar, garlic, ground cumin, dried oregano, ground cloves and salt into the blender and process at high speed for about 2 minutes or until smooth. Add the remaining cooking liquid and continue to blend until the sauce becomes smooth.
If cooking in the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 325º F.
Cook the pork:
- In a heavy-bottom pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sear the pork stirring occasionally for about 6 minutes or until golden brown. Brown the pork in batches to prevent overcrowding the pot. Add additional oil, if needed. Remove the meat from the pot and transfer to a bowl.
- Add the onions to the pot and sauté, stirring frequently until they become tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Pour the chiles sauce into the pot and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Return the pork to the pot with any collected juices. Stir to evenly coat the pork with the sauce. Add the bay leaves and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low. Cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 2 to 2.5 hours or until the pork becomes fork tender.
- Cover the pot and transfer it to the oven. Cook for about 2 to 2.5 hours or until the pork becomes fork tender. Remove from the oven, uncover and carefully stir to combine.
- The sauce should be thick (almost as thick as ketchup). If the sauce is thin, place the pot on the stove and simmer over medium-low heat uncovered, stirring to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pot, until reduced to the desired consistency.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with rice and/or corn tortillas, chopped cilantro and lime wedges.
Nutrition InformationYield 1 Serving Size 6
Amount Per ServingCalories 4404Total Fat 303gSaturated Fat 100gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 174gCholesterol 1180mgSodium 8120mgCarbohydrates 82gFiber 11gSugar 55gProtein 326g
The information contained herein is subject to change.