Carne Adovada: A Flavorful New Mexico-Style Pork and Chile Stew

Authentic New Mexico Carne Adovada - Red Chile Pork Recipe

Discover the rich flavors of New Mexico-style pork with this mouthwatering carne adovada recipe. Tender chunks of pork shoulder are braised in a vibrant red chile sauce, creating a dish that’s both comforting and packed with bold southwestern flavors.

Unlocking the Secrets of Carne Adovada

Carne adovada is a beloved New Mexican dish that showcases the region’s famous red chiles. While it may not be as widely known as its Texan cousin, chili con carne, this pork-based stew is equally deserving of culinary fame. The key to its incredible taste lies in the perfect balance of chile flavors and tender, juicy pork.

Mastering the Art of Browning Meat

One of the secrets to exceptional carne adovada is properly browning the meat. We’ll show you a technique that develops rich flavors while keeping the pork moist and tender. It’s all about finding the sweet spot between developing a flavorful crust and maintaining the meat’s juiciness.

Choosing the Right Cut and Size

For the best texture and flavor, we recommend using pork shoulder cut into 2-inch cubes. This size provides the perfect balance between a sauce-coated exterior and a juicy, tender center. Remember, when it comes to braising, longer isn’t always better – we’ll guide you to the perfect cooking time.

The Chile Sauce: Heart and Soul of Carne Adovada

The true star of this dish is the complex, flavor-packed chile sauce. We’ll walk you through selecting and preparing dried chiles, and share some chef’s secrets for adding depth and brightness to your sauce. Get ready to take your taste buds on a journey through the flavors of New Mexico!

Carne Adovada (New Mexico-Style Pork With Red Chiles) Recipe


  • 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
  • Kosher salt
  • Corn tortillas, cilantro, diced onions, lime wedges, and queso fresco for serving (optional)


  1. Start by toasting the dried chiles in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Stir frequently until they become fragrant and slightly darkened, about 2-5 minutes. Be careful not to let them smoke. Next, add the chicken stock, raisins, orange juice concentrate, chipotles, vinegar, and fish sauce. Bring this mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the chiles are completely soft, about 15 minutes. Use an immersion blender or transfer to a countertop blender to puree until smooth. Set this flavorful base aside.
  2. Now, let’s focus on the pork. Pat the cubes dry with paper towels – this is crucial for achieving a good sear. Heat the vegetable oil in your Dutch oven until it’s smoking hot. Add all the pork at once, spreading it evenly. Let it cook undisturbed until the bottom is well-browned, about 8 minutes. Remove the pork and set it aside. In the same pot, cook the onions and garlic until they’re soft and starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the oregano and cumin, cooking until fragrant.
  3. It’s time to bring it all together. Pour the chile mixture into the pot, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Add the bay leaves and return the pork to the pot along with any juices. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a bare simmer. Cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar, and cook for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. You’ll know it’s done when the pork chunks break apart easily with a spoon.
  4. The sauce should be thick, almost like ketchup. If it’s too thin, simmer uncovered until it reaches the desired consistency. Taste and season with salt as needed.
  5. Serve your carne adovada with warm corn tortillas, fresh cilantro, diced onions, lime wedges, and crumbled queso fresco. The flavors will continue to develop, so don’t hesitate to make extra – it keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
306 Calories
15g Fat
27g Carbs
17g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 306
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 49mg 16%
Sodium 990mg 43%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 17g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 52mg 259%
Calcium 84mg 6%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 762mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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