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Carne Adovada Santa Fe


A rich and wonderfully spiced New Mexican favorite based on a version by one of my favorite chefs and food scientists, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. adapted to my smaller slow cooker. The secret is good dried chiles. I am a NM native lucky enough to live in baja Az where good chile, fresh or dried is abundant and appreciated. If you cant find good fresher dried chiles (they loose spark and flavor after too long) they can be ordered via the internet. Look for chiles from chile motherland, Hatch and/or Chimayo. You want chiles that are the texture of fruit leather, not too dry and brittle. That usually means they are old and lackluster. Combine chile breeds at will! ...Chimayo, Pasilla, guajillo, chipotle negro, experiment and enjoy! This recipe is dedicated to my son Rio in Santa Fe

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  • 1 1/2 lbs pork shoulder/butt or boneless pork ribs
  • 2 dried ancho chiles- stems and seeds removed
  • 2 dried Guajillo or pasilla negro chiles- stems and seeds removed
  • 2 dried Chimayo chiles- stems and seeds removed
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup raisins, (prunes or apricots will also do)
  • 1 cup good fresh orange juice
  • 2 fat chipotle chiles in canned adobo sauce
  • 1 TBS malt or wine vinegar
  • 1 TBS EVO or peanut oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 TBS Mamacitas mexican spice mix (or your own mix of cumin, corriander, red chile, brown sugar and Mexican oregano)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste



Step 1

Heat a black cast iron skillet on stovetop. Lay the dried chiles on the skillet to roast until just starting to smoke 1-2 minutes or until soft and pliable.

Meanwhile in a medium pot, heat the chicken stock, vinegar, OJ, raisins or dried fruit, and chipotle with adobo sauce. Add the roasted dried chiles to the liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until chiles are totally softened, about 20 minutes.

Back at the black skillet, add a dash of oil and heat on meduim. Chop the pork into 1-2 inch chunks and pat dry with a paper towel. Add to the skillet and leave alone for 8 minutes while the pork browns on one side. Resist the urge to stir! You want a nice brown sear on one side only. Add the seared pork to the crock pot. Add the onions to the skillet and brown 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue browning another 2 minutes. Dont let it burn. Add the spices and brown sugar stir 30 seconds. Deglaze the skillet with a splash of water, stock or wine and scrape any stuck bits from pan. Add this mixture over the pork in the crockery.

Pour the chiles and their liquid into a blender. Put the lid on the blender and top with a kitchen towel. Puree to a smooth consistency (be careful, hot liquids in the blender can spew!) I Added a little salt to taste at this point. Pour the chile puree over the pork and veg in crock, add the bay leaves and give a stir. I had a bit of puree left over so saved it for enchiladas later! It depends on how much pork you have and the size of your crock pot.

Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8 or until done.

In a pinch, I browned 2 chicken thighs along with the pork when I only had 1 lb of pork and wanted more stew! You can also throw in some cooked posole or sweet potato to fill it out for a bigger crowd. Serve with tortillas or sopiapillas- topped with chopped purple cabbage, cilantro and queso fresco


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