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Carne Adovada

Carne adovada is tender and juicy pork simmered in an intense and delicious New Mexico-style sauce made from dried chiles. 

Carne Adovada

My husband and I recently celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary and I wanted to make him something special for dinner. I stumbled upon a recipe on Isabel Eats for carne adovada that I thought my husband would really enjoy so I made it for him. The recipe was fun to make, smelled amazing while it simmered, and the tender pork swimming in the flavorful chile sauce tasted so delicious. I served this pork adovada with flour tortillas, charro beans (recipe to follow), onion & cilantro relish, guacamole, and sour cream. The entire family thought it was a tasty meal, especially my husband who raved about it.

Carne Adovada

How to Make Carne Adovada

Remove and discard the seeds and stems from the dried ancho and guajillo chiles. Tear the chiles into medium-sized pieces.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chiles and toast until fragrant, stirring often, for 1-2 minutes.  Side Note: More than 2 minutes can make the chiles bitter. 

Transfer the toasted chiles to a medium pot along with the bay leaf; fill the pot with water until the chiles are completely covered.  Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then remove from the heat, cover, and let the chiles soak for 10 minutes.

Transfer the chiles and bay leaf to a large blender with a slotted spoon. Add 3 cups of the chile-soaked water along with the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic cloves, sugar, oregano, cumin, thyme, and sea salt, to taste; blend until very smooth. 

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 of the pork, season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste, and sear on all sides until browned, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add another tablespoon of oil to the Dutch oven and add the remaining pork, season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste, and sear on all sides until browned, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add the final tablespoon of oil to the Dutch oven and add the onion and season with a bit of sea salt & freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Cook for 4-5 minutes, scraping up bits from the pan.

Return the pork to the Dutch oven and pour the chile sauce on top; stir until evenly coated. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover and cook for 2 hours. Remove from the heat and taste the sauce. Season with additional salt, if needed.

Ladle into a serving bowl and sprinkle the top with freshly chopped cilantro. Serve with flour tortillas, shredded cheese, onion & cilantro relish, guacamole, sour cream, and lots of lime wedges. Enjoy.

Carne Adovada

Carne Adovada

Carne Adovada

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
Course: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 8
Author: Pam - For the Love of Cooking / Original by Isabel Eats

Equipment

Ingredients

Carne Adovada:

  • 8 (3 oz) dried ancho chiles, rinsed
  • 12 (2.5 oz) dried guajillo chiles, rinsed
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • Water
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • tsp dried Mexican oregano
  • tsp ground cumin
  • ¾ tsp dried thyme
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 3 lbs pork shoulder, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

For Serving:

  • Flour tortillas
  • Oaxaca cheese, shredded
  • Onion & cilantro relish
  • Guacamole
  • Sour Cream

Instructions

  • Remove and discard the seeds and stems from the dried ancho and guajillo chiles. Tear the chiles into medium-sized pieces. 
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chiles and toast until fragrant, stirring often, for 1-2 minutes.  Side Note: More than 2 minutes can make the chiles bitter. 
  • Transfer the toasted chiles to a medium pot along with the bay leaf; fill the pot with water until the chiles are completely covered.  Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then remove from the heat, cover, and let the chiles soak for 10 minutes. 
  • Transfer the chiles and bay leaf to a large blender with a slotted spoon. Add 3 cups of the chile-soaked water along with the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic cloves, sugar, oregano, cumin, thyme, and sea salt, to taste; blend until very smooth. 
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 of the pork, season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste, and sear on all sides until browned, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. 
  • Add another tablespoon of oil to the Dutch oven and add the remaining pork, season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste, and sear on all sides until browned, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. 
  • Add the final tablespoon of oil to the Dutch oven and add the onion and season with a bit of sea salt & freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Cook for 4-5 minutes, scraping up bits from the pan. 
  • Return the pork to the Dutch oven and pour the chile sauce on top; stir until evenly coated. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover and cook for 2 hours. Remove from the heat and taste the sauce. Season with additional salt, if needed. 
  • Ladle into a serving bowl and sprinkle the top with freshly chopped cilantro. Serve with flour tortillas, shredded cheese, onion & cilantro relish, guacamole, sour cream, and lots of lime wedges. Enjoy.
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