New Mexico Red Chile & Pork Stew (Carne Adovada)

Andy Anderson !


Carne Adovada is a wonderful staple of New Mexico dinner tables. With chunks of fork-tender pork swimming in an awesome red chile sauce, it is a flavor explosion.

One important point… The only way to create an authentic Carne Adovada, is to use a chile pepper that’s only grown in New Mexico. It’s not easy to find, and you might have to order it online; but more on that later.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

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24 Hr
3 Hr


2 Tbsp
grapeseed, vegetable, or canola oil
2 medium
garlic cloves, minced
4 oz
new mexico red chile pods whole, dried (medium heat)
2 1/2 c
filtered water
1/2 medium
yellow onion, medium dice
1 Tbsp
chile pequin, crushed to a powder, or an equal amount of red chile powder
1/2 tsp
garlic powder
1.2 tsp
oregano, dried
1 Tbsp
white wine vinegar
1 tsp
ground cumin
2 lb
boneless pork shoulder
1 large
lime, just the juice


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1Red Chile Pods: The New Mexico red chile has a very unique & spicy taste... It’s warm and sweet, at the same time. You want those that have been sun dried. In addition, they come in five different varieties: mild, medium, hot, x-hot, and xx-hot. For this dish use mild, or medium. The best come from the Hatch Valley area of New Mexico. A good place to get them online is:

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2Chile Pequin: A small chile pepper, usually attaining a length of only 1/2 inch. They are extremely hot (between 13 to 40 times hotter than a jalapeño) On the Scoville scale they rate from 60,000 to 100,000. In other words: A little goes a long way. A good place to get them online is:

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3Red Chile Powder: If you don’t want the heat of the Chile Pequin, you can substitute an equal amount of New Mexico red chile powder. You won’t have as much heat; however, the flavor will still be there. A good place to purchase on line is:

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4Chef’s Note: Since this dish requires resting in the refrigerator overnight, you might want to start the process later in the afternoon.

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5Gather your ingredients.

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6Place the oil in a large saucepan, or Dutch oven, over medium heat.

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7Put the minced garlic into the pan and sauté, until it begins to color.

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8Chef’s Tip: It will go from golden, to brown, to burned in a short time. Keep your eye on that pan.

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9Remove the pan from the heat, and leave the garlic in the pan.

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10Place a rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 375f (190c).

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11Chef’s Note: Is it spelled Chile, or Chili? This is rule that I go by. The hot peppers or the plant from which the peppers come should be spelled with an "e." A spicy dish of meat and sometimes beans should be spelled with an "i." You can start a bar fight with that question.

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12Remove the stems from the peppers, and shake to remove the seeds.

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13Place peppers into a colander and then rinse and drain.

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14Place in a single layer on a baking sheet, put into the oven, and bake for about 5 to 7 minutes. This will remove any excess water.

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15Remove from the oven and allow them to cool.

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16Once sufficiently cool, break each chile into several pieces.

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17Place the peppers into a blender, or food processor fitted with an S-blade.

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18Add the filtered water.

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19Process until pureed.

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20Chef’s Note: You will probably see a few bits, but for the most part, the mixture should be nice and smooth.

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21Add the pureed chilies into the saucepan with the garlic.

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22Add the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the pork and limejuice, to the saucepan.

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23Bring the sauce to the boil, and then immediately reduce to a low simmer.

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24Continue to stir and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the sauce begins to thicken.

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25Chef’s Note: We don’t want it too thick, almost like a light cream sauce.

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26Chef's Note Remove the saucepan from the heat, and allow it to cool down to room temperature, about 1 to 2 hours.

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27Chef’s Tip: Don’t hasten the cooling process by placing the saucepan in the refrigerator. As the sauce slowly cools it gives the spices a chance to get acquainted.

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28While the sauce is cooling, trim the excess fat from the pork and cut into 1 to 1.5 inch cubes.

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29Chef’s Note: You don’t have to be perfect here… this is a rustic dish.

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30Chef’s Tip: If you’re planning on using this in a burrito or taco, cut the meat into smaller pieces.

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31Stir the pork into the chile sauce, cover and place in the refrigerator, overnight.

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32The next day, place a rack in the lower position, and preheat the oven to 275f (135c).

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33Cover and place into the oven, and bake until the meat is fork tender, and the sauce has cooked down, about 3 hours.

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34About once an hour, open the oven and give the stew a quick stir.

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35Chef’s Note: If, after 3 hours, the sauce still seems a bit runny, remove the cover, and allow to bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.

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36Remove from oven and add the reserved limejuice.

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37Serve with a simple side salad of lettuce and tomatoes, and bring plenty of freshly made flour tortillas. Enjoy.

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38Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Pork
Main Ingredient: Pork
Regional Style: Mexican
Other Tag: Heirloom