I love food that warms the belly and soul. This is a New Mexican dish that is soul-warming, tasty, and feels like your stomach just gave you a hug! The sauce is fiery, red, and has just the right amount of spice to tinkle your tongue.
It started all because I saw this amazing recipe in a magazine of Cook’s Illustrated. They have a Braised Carne Adovada recipe in their recent magazine and I HAD to make it.
I spent a portion of my life in New Mexico and very much miss the food. I was young when I lived there and moved away to the PNW when I was 16… I don’t think I had the foodie appreciation I do now to have known what flavors were left behind. I know for certain that here in the PNW, I have not been able to find the delicious New Mexican, Tex-Mex, or Mexican very easily.
I followed the recipe for the spices and most of the processes, but I had to do an extra step here and there since I don’t have a Dutch Oven.
This recipe is more up front work for a crock pot dish, but it is easy to follow with big rewards in the end. If you pay attention to the details it will turn out deliciously. I am definitely going to be adding this one to my rotation of meals to make that last for a few days as other meals.
Ingredients from Cook’s Illustrated (I did some things a bit differently):
- 3.5 – 4 pound boneless port butt roast – trim off excess fat and cut into 1.5 inch pieces
- 1tbsp salt – I used Himalayan pink salt
- 4 oz. of dried New Mexican chilies, wiped clean, stemmed, seeded (tear into 1-inch pieces)
- 4 cups boiling water
- 2tbsp honey
- 2tbsp distilled white vinegar
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2tsp dried Mexican oregano
- 2tsp ground cumin
- 1tsp salt
- 1/2tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/8tsp ground cloves
- Chop up your pork if you haven’t already and toss with 1 tablespoon of salt in a bowl. Let this sit in the fridge for the next hour while you start preparing the chilies.
- Combine chilies and boiling water in a bowl making sure chilies are all covered with the water. Let this stand for 30 minutes until the chilies are softened.
- Drain your chilies keeping 2 cups reserved for the sauce ( I kept ALL of the reserved liquid and froze it for chilies or enchilada sauce in the future).
- Put chilies, honey, vinegar, garlic, oregano, cumin, cayenne, cloves, and 1 tsp of salt into a blender and blend until it turns into a paste – 30 seconds to 1 minute. If you can’t make a paste add no more than 1/4 cup of reserved liquid to help encourage the mixture around in the blender/food processor. ( I have a Ninja and LOVE it).
- Once paste is made add 1 cup of reserved liquid from the chilies, blend until smooth for about 1.5 – 2 minutes. You can add more liquid to maintain a smooth blend while this is processing. Just be careful not to add too much too soon – if you do this will chunk up the sauce as the larger pieces will not blend smoothly.
- Add the rest of the remaining 2 cups of liquid and process for 1 minute more.
- Get out your favourite frying pan, add some oil ( I used avocado), heat the oil and sear your pork. I would not have done this step if I had a Dutch Oven. I honestly just did not want the meat to shred.
- Once meat is seared combine it and the sauce in a crock pot.
- Cook on high for 5 to 6 hours.
- ontop of polenta
- with tortilla chips and some roast potato
- roast vegetables
- avocado slices
- beans and rice
I served ontop of polenta with some roasted broccoli and it was perfect! As leftovers I made polenta medallions later that week and served with the carne adovada. It isn’t necessarily a photogenic meal, but it is tasty and not lacking in flavor.
We also had it for breakfast the next day with my fav over-easy, super-runny eggs and the hubby had his scrambled eggs (lame). Chilaquiles anyone? I usually don’t mix the chips with the sauce to prevent it from becoming soggy.
Til Next Time,