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.
Red 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: diazfarms.com/chile-shop?page=shop.b...
Chile 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: spicesinc.com/p-1537-pequin-chiles.a...
Red 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: diazfarms.com/chile-shop?page=shop.b...
Chef’s Note: Since this dish requires resting in the refrigerator overnight, you might want to start the process later in the afternoon.
Gather your ingredients.
Place the oil in a large saucepan, or Dutch oven, over medium heat.
Put the minced garlic into the pan and sauté, until it begins to color.
Chef’s Tip: It will go from golden, to brown, to burned in a short time. Keep your eye on that pan.
Remove the pan from the heat, and leave the garlic in the pan.
Place a rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 375f (190c).
Chef’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.
Remove the stems from the peppers, and shake to remove the seeds.
Place peppers into a colander and then rinse and drain.
Place 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.
Remove from the oven and allow them to cool.
Once sufficiently cool, break each chile into several pieces.
Place the peppers into a blender, or food processor fitted with an S-blade.
Add the filtered water.
Process until pureed.
Chef’s Note: You will probably see a few bits, but for the most part, the mixture should be nice and smooth.
Add the pureed chilies into the saucepan with the garlic.
Add the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the pork and limejuice, to the saucepan.
Bring the sauce to the boil, and then immediately reduce to a low simmer.
Continue to stir and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the sauce begins to thicken.
Chef’s Note: We don’t want it too thick, almost like a light cream sauce.
Chef's Note Remove the saucepan from the heat, and allow it to cool down to room temperature, about 1 to 2 hours.
Chef’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.
While the sauce is cooling, trim the excess fat from the pork and cut into 1 to 1.5 inch cubes.
Chef’s Note: You don’t have to be perfect here… this is a rustic dish.
Chef’s Tip: If you’re planning on using this in a burrito or taco, cut the meat into smaller pieces.
Stir the pork into the chile sauce, cover and place in the refrigerator, overnight.
The next day, place a rack in the lower position, and preheat the oven to 275f (135c).
Cover and place into the oven, and bake until the meat is fork tender, and the sauce has cooked down, about 3 hours.
About once an hour, open the oven and give the stew a quick stir.
Chef’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.
Remove from oven and add the reserved limejuice.
Serve with a simple side salad of lettuce and tomatoes, and bring plenty of freshly made flour tortillas. Enjoy.