Carne Adovada may not be well known, but I am hear to tell you this New Mexico dish is a MUST try. Tender, seasoned pork is browned, then braised, in a delicious purée that includes chili powder, coffee and raisins. This is just so darn good. 🙂
I love finding new dishes to share with you guys and this is a new house favorite!
Carne Adovada, also known as carne adobada, is amazing in flavor and texture. Layers of deep, rich flavors are what come to mind here. Not one stands out, it’s the sum of the ingredients that make this so delicious.
First beautifully marbled pork shoulder, or pork butt as it make be called at your market, is cut into chunks, seasoned with salt and pepper and browned to caramelize the outside to a crispy brown. This is key.
The sauce ingredients that these browned pork chunks are braised in are what initially caught my eye.
What’s in Adovada Sauce?
Onions and garlic get sautéed and a chili powder, flour and oregano mix gets “bloomed” in the hot oil . Then chicken stock and raisins that have been soaked in hot coffee are added to the mix. Cooked for a bit then in a blender it goes (or use a hand wand mixer if you prefer) to purée until smooth.
Pour it on top of the pork and in the oven it goes to braise until unbelievably tender and the aroma is off the hook. The taste is another story. Amazing served over rice, so good! You must try this one friends.
This recipe first appeared on Kevin Is Cooking August 2018.
- 1 cup strong coffee (See Note 1)
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/3 cup chili powder (See Note 2)
- 1 tsp Mexican oregano (See Note 3)
- 5 lb boneless pork shoulder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped (2 cups total)
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce minced
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 6 limes
- pico de gallo (optional for topping)
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Add raisins to cup of hot coffee and allow to plump, 5 minutes. Set aside. In a small bowl whisk together the chili powder, flour and oregano. Set aside.
- Cut pork into 1 1/2-inch chunks, dry with paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown half of the pork, about 10 minutes. Transfer to plate and repeat with remaining pork.
- Add onion to the Dutch oven and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and chipotle, stirring for 2 minutes, scraping up browned bits on bottom of pan.
- Add chili flour, chili mixture and cook for about 1 minute. Add broth and coffee raisin mixture, scraping up any browned bits, and bring to boil.
- Work in 2 batches, carefully transfer mixture to blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return pork to pot and pour sauce on top. Stir and cover with lid. Bake for 2 hours.
- Season to taste and serve over rice with lime wedges and pico de gallo (optional) or chopped cilantro.
- I've used 1/2 cup of espresso, 1/2 cup coffee before too. Feel free to substitute.
- Feel free to use Chimayo ground red chile for the chili powder for a more authentic flavor.
- Feel free to use regular oregano if you like or can't find Mexican oregano. Mexican oregano is a relative of Lemon Verbena and is native to Mexico. Similar in that it’s pungent like Mediterranean oregano, Mexican oregano has notes of mild licorice and citrus. Mediterranean oregano is a member of the mint family and most often is used in Greek and Italian recipes. Mediterranean oregano is the one most found in spice racks and supermarkets.