Carne Adovada (Red Chile and Pork Stew)

Annabelle Breakey

Pure ground dried red chiles are the star of this simple stew.  Serve with warm corn or flour tortillas if you like.

Yield: Makes 6 servings
Recipe from Sunset

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Recipe Time

Total: 2 Hours, 45 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 577
  • Calories from fat: 47%
  • Protein: 57g
  • Fat: 30g
  • Saturated fat: 8.5g
  • Carbohydrate: 20g
  • Fiber: 5.4g
  • Sodium: 1171mg
  • Cholesterol: 177mg


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 1/2 pounds boned pork shoulder (butt), fat trimmed and meat cut into 1 1/2-in. cubes
  • 1 cup ground dried red New Mexico chiles
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large, heavy-bottomed, ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until onions are golden, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer onions and garlic to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
  2. 2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, salt, cumin, and pepper. Add pork and toss to coat. Return pot to medium-high heat, add remaining 1 tbsp. oil, and, working in batches, lightly brown meat on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes per batch. Transfer meat to a separate bowl as you go.
  3. 3. Return onions and garlic to pot. Sprinkle with ground chiles and cook, stirring, 2 minutes (mixture will be thick). Add broth, stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom of pot. Whirl sauce in a blender until smooth. Return sauce to pot and add bay leaf and reserved pork.
  4. 4. Cover pot, put in oven, and cook 1 hour. Set lid slightly ajar and cook until pork is fork-tender, about 1 hour more. Remove bay leaf before serving.
  5. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
  6. Cooking with chiles
  7. Ground dried red chiles are used to both season and thicken sauces (don't be intimidated by the large quantities called for; this ingredient is nothing like cayenne or supermarket “chili powder,â€Â� which is a blend of several seasonings). The ground chiles are sold according to heat level (from mild and sweet to quite spicy), so be sure to buy a batch that suits your taste. Look for it in Latin markets and gourmet stores, or see “Finding New Mexico Chiles,â€Â� (below) for mail-order sources.
  8. Finding New Mexico chiles
  9. The Chile Shop. Good source for ground dried red chiles. From $5.50 for 8 oz.; Santa Fe; or 505/983-6080.
  10. Chimayo to Go. Sells ground dried red Chimayo chiles grown in southern New Mexico. $5.25 for 8 oz.; or 800/683-9628.
  11. Native Seeds/SEARCH. Grow northern New Mexico chiles from heirloom seeds. or 866/622-5561.
  12. Santa Fe Farmers Market. The best place to find northern New Mexico chiles, both fresh and dried. Various locations and hours; contact or 505/983-4098.
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