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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

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Carne Adovada

Free

We found that 3 ounces of New Mexico chilies—the widely available medium-hot chilies grown in the state—and 3 ounces of fruity, mildly smoky Mexican guajillos gave us just the right flavor. If guajillos are hard to find, another 3 ounces of New Mexico chilies can be substituted. 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 Mexican rice, stewed pinto beans and/or warmed flour tortillas.

8

Servings

Tip

Don’t use a picnic shoulder roast for this recipe. The picnic cut, taken from the lower portion of the shoulder, has more cartilage and connective tissue, which will make trimming more difficult. Also, don’t use blackstrap molasses, which has a potent bittersweet flavor.

5 hours

50 minutes active

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 1 teaspoon 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 a picnic shoulder roast for this recipe. The picnic cut, taken from the lower portion of the shoulder, has more cartilage and connective tissue, which will make trimming more difficult. Also, don’t use blackstrap molasses, which has a potent bittersweet flavor.
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Reviews
Barbara C.

Thank you for your comment! Your comment is currently under moderation and will appear shortly.

Karen M.

This is on our list to make over the July 4th holiday. After reading the article then going over the recipe, I have a question. In the article, Mathew's favorite version is described as "the spices and vinegar brightened the chili flavor better than any other version I’d tried". Yet, this recipe does not use any vinegar. The only acid being the optional drizzle of lime juice at serving time. Why is vinegar not needed in this recipe?

Michael P.

I wrote to Milk Street with that exact question and they responded that "I checked in with our lead recipe developer and she told me that our team thought the vinegar combined with the bitterness of the chilies made the pork taste too sour. The lime juice gave it a bright flavor, without and sourness."

Keith H.

I have made this dish with pork and chicken, but without molasses. Plucking out the seeds from both peppers is worth the effort. The rich sauce that "rises" up from the blender is quite joyful, especially when you sample with a spoon, like one is supposed to do. My next foray is to use the molasses....please forgive.

John b.

So I strain the sauce through a sieve to remove all those little flicks of pepper skin that don't seem to cook up. I've made it both ways and find I like the smoother version. It takes a little more time but is worth the effort. I also use the meat to make fajitas with.

Michael P.

If you look at the step by step, the 3rd step leaves out the cumin seed in the ingredient list there. Otherwise this is a great recipe that I've made several times... love it.

Lynn C.

Hi Michael -

Thanks for pointing this out. We've corrected it!

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Diana L.

What would be a good substitute if you don't have MEXICO CHILIES or GUAJILLO CHILIES?

Lynn C.

Hi Diana -

The recipe calls for New Mexico chilies and guajillo chilies. If you can't find guajillo chilies you can use all New Mexico chilies. If you can't find either, you could substitute dried ancho chilies but, since these are more mild, the dish won't be as spicy.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Alla W.

Question - is 325 degrees Convection bake temperature or conventional bake. In general are recipes at Milk street provide temperature for convec or conventional ovens. Thank you.

Lynn C.

Hi Alla -

All of our temperatures are listed for conventional bake. Since not everyone has a convection setting on their oven, we prefer to use conventional bake for all of our recipes so they can be used by everyone.

Best,
The Milk Street Team


Down arrow

Carne Adovada

Get Ready to Cook

8

Servings

5 hours

50 minutes active

Tip

Don’t use a picnic shoulder roast for this recipe. The picnic cut, taken from the lower portion of the shoulder, has more cartilage and connective tissue, which will make trimming more difficult. Also, don’t use blackstrap molasses, which has a 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 1 teaspoon 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 cumin seed
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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