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Carne Adovada (Red Chile Pork Stew)

User Rating 4.5 Star Rating (2 Reviews)


Carne Adovada (Red Chile Pork Stew)

Carne Adovada

Photo © Molly Watson
This carne adovada is pork stewed in a sauce of ground dried chiles. Don't be alarmed by the full cup of ground red chile powder - New Mexican red chiles are relatively mild. The stew is warming, but never gets too spicy. In New Mexico you can find carne adovada on breakfast menus, which may well be one of my favorite things about New Mexico. From experience I can tell you, however, that it makes a delicious meal any time of day. Serve carne adovada with corn tortillas and this Cabbage Slaw with Cumin Dressing or this Romaine Lettuce Pomegranate Jicama Salad alongside.

Note that you want to use a fatty, "tough" cut like butt/shoulder for this stew, since the meat will become more tender from the long, slow cooking. Learn more about pork cuts here.

Dried ground New Mexican red chile powder is available at Chimayo To Go.

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 3 hours

Yield: Makes about 6 servings


  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds pork butt or pork shoulder, well-trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon flour or masa harisa
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) ground dried New Mexican red chile powder
  • 6 cups water or broth


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once the pot is hot, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the pork pieces to brown them. Add only enough pork so the pieces are in a single layer and don't touch each other; you will likely need to do this in batches. The pork should sizzle the second it touches the pot; if it doesn't, remove it and wait for the pot to heat up. Cook the pork, undisturbed, until each piece is well-browned on one side, about 3 minutes. Turn and brown on all sides. Transfer the pork to a large bowl or plate and repeat with remaining batches as needed.
  3. When all the pork is browned and set aside, add the onions, garlic, and salt to the pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the onions with masa or flour and pepper and cook, stirring, until the raw flavor of the masa or flour cooks off (if you use flour it will smell a bit like pie crust), about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the ground chile and stir to combine. Add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  5. In a blender, whirl the chile mixture until smooth. You may want to do this in batches, depending on the size of your blender. Be sure to hold a kitchen towels over the top to protect yourself (and your walls) from any potential splatters. Return the chile mixture to the pot. Add another 1 cup of water and the browned pork. Bring everything to a boil, cover, transfer to the oven, and bake for 1 hour.
  6. Take the pot out of the oven and stir the stew after the first hour. Add an additional 1 cup of water to the pot if the stew seems dry. Recover the pot and return it to the oven to bake until the pork falls apart when you try to cut it with a fork and the sauce is thick, about 1 more hour. Serve the chile hot.
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 4 out of 5
Nice Dish, Member jesusan

This was easy to make and very tasty. The only thing I would do differently is to add a couple of teaspoons of Mexican oregano, an ingredient I saw listed in a couple of other recipes for this dish. The flavor was pretty good, but needed something to round it out, and I think the oregano would do the trick. I used a pork sirloin tip roast and the meat came out very tender. The other comment I need to make is a warning about how much of the chile/onion mixture you put in the blender at any one time. I would not do more than 2 cups total at one time. I didn't think carefully about that beforehand and ended up with the chile mixture all over everything, including me :-)) This recipe is a keeper.

4 out of 4 people found this helpful.

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