New Mexico-Style Pork With Red Chiles
One of the things I dearly miss since moving back to Hawaii is our Moveable Feast group. Never have I laughed so much or eaten so much as the times I spent with my amazing friends. I loved (and hated) the challenge of finding a dish to fit the theme (read about some of them here). And there was the stress of whether or not the dish would actually turn out the way it should, or at least be edible. But being part of Moveable Feast challenged me to try new recipes that I might have overlooked. Over the years we ate many wonderful things and many of the recipes I prepared made their way into my repertoire. One of those recipes is Carne Adovada from J. Kenji López-Alt.
Why I like this recipe
The theme for this particular Moveable Feast was the chiles of New Mexico – red vs green. Not having a preference of one over the other, I researched recipes and came across this one. There were a few reasons why I chose this recipe. The first is I’ve never gone wrong with a recipe from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt.
The second reason I like this recipe is, at the time he developed this recipe he was living in New York and made some modifications based on the dry, brittle chiles he typically found in his local grocery store (as opposed to freshly dried chiles found in New Mexico). Given that these older, drier chiles are what I had available to me in Boston (and now in Hawaii), this recipe was a great match. Some of the modifications that may not seem to be traditional are the additions of orange juice concentrate and fish sauce. Not being familiar with New Mexico cuisine, I think the recipe works – but to a purist, maybe these extra ingredients are sacrilege.
Thirdly, as much as I like easy recipes, there is something to be said about the time it takes to develop a rich, deeply-flavored stew from scratch. And on the scale of difficulty, this recipe really isn’t bad, it just takes a little bit of time. I think it’s worth it.
How to serve carne adovada
My favorite way to eat carne adovada is as a soft taco with a little bit of cotija, cilantro, and pickled red onions.
I’ve also shredded the pork and rolled it in corn or flour tortillas with some cotija cheese to make enchiladas. The recipe makes enough sauce to provide a base and topping for the enchiladas. Top everything with a bit more cheese and bake it in the oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
Carne adovada is also great over rice – plain white rice or a lime cilantro rice work. Serve it with pickled onions, maybe a simple green salad.Print
This New Mexican-style chile-based pork stew is great for tacos, enchiladas, or over rice. It’s deeply spiced, hearty, and great for a crowd.
4 whole dried ancho chiles, seeds and stems removed
4 whole dried pasilla chiles, seeds and stems removed
1 quart (32 ounces) homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
3 whole chipotle chiles canned in adobo
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 2-inch-thick cubes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
6 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 bay leaves
Corn tortillas, cilantro, pickled red onions, lime wedges, and queso fresco for serving (optional)
- Add dried chiles to large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or stock pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until slightly darkened with intense, roasted aroma, 2 to 5 minutes. Do not allow to smoke. Add chicken stock, raisins, orange juice concentrate, chipotles in adobo, white vinegar, and fish sauce. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a bare simmer, and let cook until chiles are totally softened, about 15 minutes. Blend into a smooth puree using an immersion blender or by transferring to a countertop blender. Set aside.
- Carefully pat pork cubes dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Heat vegetable oil in a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over high heat until smoking. Add pork all at once and spread evenly over bottom surface. (It’s ok if not all the pork is touching the bottom or if the pan is crowded.) Cook without moving until bottom surface is well browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer pork to a cutting board and set aside. Add onions and garlic to Dutch oven and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add oregano and cumin and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add chile mixture to Dutch oven and stir to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom. Add bay leaves along with the pork and any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil then reduce to a bare simmer. Cover, leaving lid slightly ajar, and cook, stirring occasionally until pork chunks break apart when you apply pressure with a spoon, about 2 hours.
- Sauce should be thick, with an almost ketchup-like consistency. If too thin, increase heat to a light simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until reduced to the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt.
- Serve pork with corn tortillas, cilantro, diced onions, lime wedges, and queso fresco. Pork can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Category: dinner
- Cuisine: New Mexican
- Calories: 434.71
- Sugar: 20.82 g.
- Sodium: 601.99 mg.
- Fat: 11.38 g.
- Saturated Fat: 2.78 g.
- Carbohydrates: 40.34 g.
- Fiber: 7.72 g.
- Protein: 44.91 g.
- Cholesterol: 102.06 g.
Keywords: pork, dried chiles, chipotles