Rancho de Chimayó’s Carne Adovada (New Mexico Braised Red Chile Pork)

TIMEJanuary 6, 2022

Carne adovada, one of New Mexico’s most celebrated dishes, features pork marinated and then braised in a thick, fiery sauce made with dried New Mexico red chiles. The restaurant Rancho de Chimayó serves it with rice and posole (recipe follows) or as part of a combination plate with a pork tamale, rolled cheese enchilada, beans, and posole with red or green chile.

Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces whole, dried New Mexico red chile pods (about 25)
  • 4 cups water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons diced yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon crushed chile pequin (dried, hot New Mexican chile flakes)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried Mexican oregano
  • 3 pounds thick, boneless shoulder pork chops, trimmed of fat and cut into 1- to 2-inch cubes

Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until just golden. Immediately remove from heat.

Break stems off of the chile pods and discard the seeds (it isn’t necessary to remove every seed, but most should be removed). Place chiles in a sink or large bowl, rinse carefully, and drain.

Place damp pods in one layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 5 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning. Chiles can have a little remaining moisture. Remove from the oven and let them cool.

Break each chile into 2 or 3 pieces. In a blender, purée half of the pods with 2 cups of water (you will still be able to see tiny pieces of chile pulp). Pour into the saucepan with garlic. Repeat with remaining pods and water.

Stir the remaining sauce ingredients into the chile sauce and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken, but should remain a little soupy. Remove from heat. Cool it to room temperature. Stir pork into chile sauce and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Oil a large covered baking dish.

Spoon carne adovada into the baking dish. Cover the dish and bake until the meat is completely tender and the sauce has cooked down, about 3 hours. Stir once about halfway through. If the sauce remains watery after 3 hours, stir well again and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes more. Serve hot.

Recipe from “Rancho de Chimayó Cookbook: The Traditional Cooking of New Mexico, 50th Anniversary Edition.”

Rancho de Chimayó Posole

Posole is dried field corn (hominy) that’s treated with mineral lime to soften and remove the skins and to improve the flavor. It also refers to the stew based on posole. At Rancho de Chimayó, it’s served as an earthy, fragrant side dish for carne adovada (braised red chile pork).

Find prepared posole at Find canned hominy and whole dried New Mexico chiles at well-stocked grocery stores and Latino markets.

  • 1 cup dried prepared posole (maíz pellado para pozole or maíz pozolero) or 1 25-ounce can hominy, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 pound pork shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 or 3 dried red New Mexico chiles, stemmed, seeded, and rinsed

If using dried prepared posole: Rinse well, then put it in a bowl and cover it with 2 inches of water. Let it soak for at least 4 hours. Drain.

Put prepared posole in a large heavy saucepan or stockpot and cover with 8 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil, covered, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours.

Add remaining ingredients and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours more or until the corn is puffed (almost like popcorn) and the pork is fork-tender, stirring every now and then toward the end and adding enough hot water if necessary to keep posole covered.

If using canned hominy: Pour it into a pot, and add the remaining ingredients and 4 cups of water.Bring the water to a boil, covered, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until pork is fork-tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring every now and then toward the end and adding enough hot water if necessary to keep posole covered.

Season with garlic salt to taste and serve with a slotted spoon.

Make ahead up to 3 days, chilled.