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The Complete Milk Street TV Show Cookbook

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New Mexico's chili is bright, rich, and as much about the peppers as the pork
Milk Street Bowtie Carne Adovada

Carne Adovada

5 hours 50 minutes active

Free

Pork butt, which is cut from the shoulder, is a fatty cut. Trimming as much fat as possible from the meat—not just from the surface but also from between the muscles—helps prevent a greasy stew. After trimming, you should have 4 to 4½ pounds of pork. If the stew nonetheless ends up with fat on the surface, simply use a wide, shallow spoon to skim it off. This adovado is rich and robust; it pairs perfectly with Spanish rice, stewed pinto beans and/or warmed flour tortillas.

3 ounces New Mexico chilies, stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces
3 ounces guajillo chilies, stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces
4 cups boiling water, plus 1 cup water
5 pounds boneless pork butt, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1½-inch cubes
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons lard or grapeseed oil
2 medium white onions, chopped
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons cumin seed
4 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican oregano
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon molasses
Lime wedges, to serve
Sour cream, to serve
Fresh cilantro leaves, to serve
Ingredients
  • 3

    ounces New Mexico chilies, stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces

  • 3

    ounces guajillo chilies, stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces

  • 4

    cups boiling water, plus 1 cup water

  • 5

    pounds boneless pork butt, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1½-inch cubes

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 2

    tablespoons lard or grapeseed oil

  • 2

    medium white onions, chopped

  • 6

    medium garlic cloves, minced

  • 4

    teaspoons cumin seed

  • 4

    teaspoons ground coriander

  • 1

    teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican oregano

  • ¾

    teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1

    tablespoon molasses

  • Lime wedges, to serve

  • Sour cream, to serve

  • Fresh cilantro leaves, to serve

Directions
  1. 01
    Place the chilies in a large bowl, pour in the boiling water and stir. Let sit, stirring occasionally, until the chilies have softened, about 30 minutes. Transfer half of the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the remaining chilies and water and blend until smooth, scraping down the blender as needed. Measure ½ cup of the chili puree into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until needed. Pour the remaining puree into a medium bowl and set aside; do not scrape out the blender jar. Pour ½ cup of the remaining water into the blender, cover tightly and shake to release all of the puree
    See Demo
    Carne Adovada Step
  2. 02
    Place the pork in a large bowl. Add 2 teaspoons salt and the chili-water mixture in the blender. Stir to coat, then cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
    See Demo
    Carne Adovada Step 2
  3. 03
    Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the lower-middle position. In a large Dutch oven over medium, heat the lard until shimmering. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, coriander, oregano and cayenne, then cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the remaining ½ cup water and the chili puree. Add the pork and any liquid in the bowl. Stir to combine, then cover the pot, place in the oven and cook for 2 hours.
    See Demo
    Carne Adovada Step 3
  4. 04
    Remove the pot from the oven. Uncover, stir and return, uncovered, to the oven. Continue to cook until the pork is tender, another 1¼ to 1½ hours. Remove from the oven and set on the stove over medium heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the reserved ½ cup chili puree and the molasses. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with lime wedges, sour cream and cilantro leaves. ◆
    See Demo
    Carne Adovada Step 4
Tip: Don’t use just one type of dried chili. New Mexico chilies provide a mild earthiness and subtle sweetness, while guajillos add a fruity quality and hints of smoke; the combination gives this stew a deep, complex flavor. Make sure to seed the chilies, as the seeds won’t break down in the blender and may add unwanted spiciness. Also, don’t use blackstrap molasses, which has a very potent bittersweet flavor.
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Carne Adovada

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8

Servings

5 hours

50 minutes active

Tip

Don’t use just one type of dried chili. New Mexico chilies provide a mild earthiness and subtle sweetness, while guajillos add a fruity quality and hints of smoke; the combination gives this stew a deep, complex flavor. Make sure to seed the chilies, as the seeds won’t break down in the blender and may add unwanted spiciness. Also, don’t use blackstrap molasses, which has a very potent bittersweet flavor.

Ingredients
  • 3

    ounces New Mexico chilies, stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces

  • 3

    ounces guajillo chilies, stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces

  • 4

    cups boiling water, plus 1 cup water

  • 5

    pounds boneless pork butt, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1½-inch cubes

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 2

    tablespoons lard or grapeseed oil

  • 2

    medium white onions, chopped

  • 6

    medium garlic cloves, minced

  • 4

    teaspoons cumin seed

  • 4

    teaspoons ground coriander

  • 1

    teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican oregano

  • ¾

    teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1

    tablespoon molasses

  • Lime wedges, to serve

  • Sour cream, to serve

  • Fresh cilantro leaves, to serve

Step 1 of 4

Soften the chilies

3
ounces New Mexico chilies, stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces
3
ounces guajillo chilies, stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces
4
cups boiling water, plus ½ cup water

Place the chilies in a large bowl, pour in the boiling water and stir. Let sit, stirring occasionally, until the chilies have softened, about 30 minutes. Transfer half of the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth, about 1 minute.


Add the remaining chilies and water and blend until smooth, scraping down the blender as needed. Measure ½ cup of the chili puree into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until needed.


Pour the remaining puree into a medium bowl and set aside; do not scrape out the blender jar. Pour ½ cup of the remaining water into the blender, cover tightly and shake to release all of the puree

Step 2 of 4

Coat the pork

5
pounds boneless pork butt, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1½-inch cubes
2
teaspoons kosher salt

Place the pork in a large bowl. Add 2 teaspoons salt and the chili-water mixture in the blender. Stir to coat, then cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Step 3 of 4

Combine and cook

2
tablespoons lard or grapeseed oil
2
medium white onions, chopped
6
medium garlic cloves, minced
4
teaspoons ground coriander
1
teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican oregano
¾
teaspoon cayenne pepper
½
cup water

Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the lower-middle position. In a large Dutch oven over medium, heat the lard until shimmering. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes.


Stir in the garlic, cumin, coriander, oregano and cayenne, then cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the remaining ½ cup water and the chili puree.


Add the pork and any liquid in the bowl. Stir to combine, then cover the pot, place in the oven and cook for 2 hours.

Step 4 of 4

Finish cooking, season, and serve

1
tablespoon molasses
Lime wedges, to serve
Sour cream, to serve
Fresh cilantro leaves, to serve

Remove the pot from the oven. Uncover, stir and return, uncovered, to the oven. Continue to cook until the pork is tender, another 1¼ to 1½ hours.


Remove from the oven and set on the stove over medium heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the reserved ½ cup chili puree and the molasses.


Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with lime wedges, sour cream and cilantro leaves. ◆

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