New Mexican Carne Adovada

New Mexican Carne Adovada

Succulent pork braised in an earthy, soulful blend of chilis until it's just about caramelized. So good.

Here is a dish that is quintessentially New Mexican although versions have traveled Northward into Colorado where I lived for many years. When a cravings for the deep red chili flavor comes on, this is how I satisfy it.

New Mexican Carne Adovada

New Mexican Carne Adovada

Carne Adovada has a little spiciness balanced by a lot of earthy soul; a touch of vinegar accents those flavors beautifully and rounds it out nicely. Traditionally Adovada is very simple home cooking, but don’t let that lull you into thinking it’s not one of the best Mexican/Southwestern dishes you’ll ever eat.

There’s a complexity here from the marination in the sauce (which is a basic Adobo – you’ve heard me talk about Adobo before, in my post about my Adobo seasoning and it’s also used in canned Chipotles in Adobo sauce, but this Adobo tastes much better ) and long, slow cooking that leaves the pork succulent and coated with a caramelized exterior.

New Mexican Carne Adovada

New Mexican Carne Adovada

I normally serve Adovado with tortillas, either corn or flour and maybe beans and rice and the normal “fixings” but hominy is another time-honored traditional side. I particularly like to use a dry Mexican cheese in these rather than the normal cheddar or cheddar/jack blends. If you can’t find a Queso Fresco, try a little Feta.

If you have access to a Mexican market, you’ll often find chiles at a lower price than at the basic grocery store. Watch for pork shoulder pricing – it generally goes on sale regularly; pick up and freeze when the prices are lowest.

New Mexican Carne Adovada

New Mexican Carne Adovada

New Mexican Carne Adovada

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
  • 3 to 3 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, fat trimmed and meat cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • 8 ounces, about 24 whole, dried New Mexican chiles, rinsed
  • 2 cups chicken or beef stock
  • 2 large onions, chunked
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste

In a large, dry skillet over medium heat, toast chiles, turning often until they begin to expand and soften. Watch carefully and remove immediately if they begin to burn, which will make them bitter.

Let cool, break apart and remove stems and seeds. Add the chiles to blender along with a cup of the stock and puree. Add the remaining ingredients (except pork) and blend until a thick, smooth liquid is formed.

Place pork in a baking dish, pour the sauce over, stirring to coat all the pork, cover and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 300 degrees and bake, covered, until meat is nearly tender, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. At this point, taste the sauce and add more sugar, salt or vinegar if needed.

Place the dish, uncovered, back into the oven and continue to bake another 30 minutes until sauce is thickened and noticeably darker and the chunks of meat nearly fall apart when gently pressed.

Leftovers are outstanding, but reheat gently so as not to toughen meat (defrost setting on a microwave works well.)

from the kitchen of


You know I’ll be bringing this to our Throwback Thursday #39 Link Party, hosted by Quinn of Dad What’s for Dinner, Meaghan of 4 Sons are Us, Alli of Tornadough, Carlee from Cooking with Carlee and Moi! That’s right – me!

Click over to our latest Throwback Thursday post for links to their blogs and social media, rules and more info or just click on the blue leapfrog, below, to view all the Throwback Thursday Posts or enter your own!

I’ll also be bring this to Angie’s Fiesta Friday, hosted this week by two of my favorite bloggers:  Loretta @ Safari of the Mind and Linda @ Fabulous Fare Sisters.

I’m happy to say this dish was featured on Fiesta Friday.


34 thoughts on “New Mexican Carne Adovada

  1. OH WOW, that looks so good. My sis lives in NM I am going to ask her to send me some chilies so I can give this a go. You can tell just by looking at it just how flavorful and delicious it is. Beautiful!!

  2. Yay, I’ve learned something new today. I don’t believe I’ve heard of this dish that originated in New Mexico? Although it is new to me, some of your spices used are very familiar. Love the sweet and sour flavors coming through. Thanks so much for bringing this to the Fiesta, enjoy your weekend Mollie 🙂

    • As I wrote this post I thought about so many of the different bloggers throughout the world that use methods kind of like this is one way or another.

      This sauce would work really well with eggplant (lol) as we call it – since it wouldn’t need to cook as long you could use another time honored technique. Toast your chiles, then blend them up with less liquid (water is fine for the liquid) then put it in a deep pan that you’ve heated a bit of oil in and let it sputter and “fry” to take the edge off the chiles. Stir it often so it doesn’t scorch and let it reach desired thickness then spoon over the eggplant and bake.

  3. kat

    I love love love adobe sauce! What an awesome recipe! I’m always looking for more ways to incorporate it into dishes! I can’t wait to try this!

    • Kat, I bet you will LOVE this!! I always tinker just a little at the end and add a teensy splash of vinegar and maybe, depending on the chile a touch more sugar. I love the slight sweet/sour kick that adobo has!

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