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New Mexico Pork Chili Carne Adovada


Like many New Mexican dishes, carne adovada is headlined by local chiles. Meltingly tender chunks of pork butt are braised in an intense, soulful red chile sauce with hints of cumin, oregano, onion, and garlic. It’s at once smoky yet bright, spicy yet sweet.

To replicate the subtle fruity quality of the dried New Mexican chiles traditionally used in this dish, we turned to raisins, which we soaked in hot coffee to soften before making a puree.

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  • 1 pork shoulder—usually labeled pork butt or Boston butt
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee
  • 1 boneless pork shoulder roast (4- to 5-pounds), trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 onions , chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 6 garlic cloves , minced
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon grated zest and 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves


Servings 8
Preparation time 30mins
Cooking time 150mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350°F. Combine raisins and coffee in small bowl. Wrap tightly with plastic and microwave until liquid begins to boil, 1 to 3 minutes; let stand 5 minutes, until raisins are plump.

Pat pork dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown half of pork, about 10 minutes. Transfer to plate and repeat with remaining pork.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from Dutch oven. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add flour, chili powder, oregano, chipotle, and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth and raisin mixture, scraping up any browned bits, and bring to boil. Working in 2 batches, transfer mixture to blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return sauce to pot.

Add browned pork to sauce in pot and transfer to oven. Cook, covered, until pork is fork-tender, about 2 hours. Skim sauce, then stir in lime zest, lime juice, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Serve. (Pork can be refrigerated in airtight container for 3 days.)

From Cook's Illustrated:
Carne Adovada

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