Carne Adovada: New Mexico Red Chile Pork Stew

Carne adovada red chile pork stew

The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic

Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
Total: 3 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
704 Calories
38g Fat
26g Carbs
63g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 704
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 38g 49%
Saturated Fat 13g 64%
Cholesterol 215mg 72%
Sodium 905mg 39%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Protein 63g
Calcium 146mg 11%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Carne adovada is pork stewed in a sauce of ground dried chiles. Don't be alarmed by the full cup of ground red chile powder; New Mexican red chiles are relatively mild. The stew is warming but never gets too spicy. In New Mexico, you can find carne adovada on breakfast menus, which may well be one of the best things about New Mexico. It makes a delicious meal any time of day. No matter when you eat it, serve carne adovada with corn tortillas.

Note that you want to use a fatty, "tough" cut like the butt/shoulder for this stew since the meat will become more tender from the long, slow cooking.

Dried ground New Mexican red chile powder is available at Chimayo To Go.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds pork butt (or pork shoulder, well-trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 2 onions (chopped)
  • 6 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon flour (or masa harisa)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup/8 ounces ground dried New Mexican red chile powder
  • 5 to 6 cups water (divided)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for adovada red chile pork stew
    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  3. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once the pot is hot, add the oil.

    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  4. When the oil is hot, add the pork pieces to brown them. Add only enough pork so the pieces are in a single layer and don't touch each other; you will likely need to do this in batches. The pork should sizzle the second it touches the pot; if it doesn't, remove it and wait for the pot to heat up.

    Pork in pot
    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  5. Cook the pork, undisturbed, until each piece is well-browned on one side, about 3 minutes.

  6. Turn and brown on all sides.

    Brown pork
    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  7. Transfer the pork to a large bowl or plate and repeat with remaining batches as needed.

    Pork in pot
    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  8. When all the pork is browned and set aside, add the onions, garlic, and salt to the pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft, about 3 minutes.

    Add onions
    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  9. Sprinkle the onions with flour or masa and pepper and cook, stirring, until the raw flavor of the masa or flour cooks off (if you use flour it will smell a bit like pie crust), about 3 minutes.

    Sprinkle with flour
    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  10. Add the ground chile and stir to combine.

    Add chile powder
    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  11. Add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil.

    Add water
    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  12. In a blender, whirl the chile mixture until smooth. You may want to do this in batches, depending on the size of your blender. Only fill the blender about 1/2 to 2/3 full and be sure to hold a kitchen towel over the top to protect yourself (and your walls) from any potential splatters.

    Add blender
    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  13. Return the chile mixture to the pot. If you have a hand-held immersion blender, this is a good time to use it.

    Add mixture to pot
    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  14. Once the sauce is blended, add another 1 cup of water and the browned pork and bring everything to a boil.

    Pork in sauce
    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  15. Cover, transfer to the oven, and bake for 1 hour.

    Cover and put in oven
    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  16. Take the pot out of the oven and stir the stew after the first hour. Add an additional 1 cup of water to the pot if the stew seems dry.

    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  17. Recover the pot and return it to the oven to bake until the pork falls apart when you try to cut it with a fork and the sauce is thick, about 1 more hour.

    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  18. Serve the carne adovada hot.

    Serve hot
    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic 

    Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

    Steam expands quickly in a blender, and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.

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