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Carne Adobado Mystery Disclosed

By Jane Butel  October 25, 2022

Last week, I shared the culinary history behind  Carne Adobado, a dish rarely found outside of New Mexico.  This totally  historic and amazingly delicious dish  is often found on menus in New Mexican restaurants and I am very sorry to say that it is often not so wonderful.  The lack of lusciousness is usually due to poor ingredients or technique.   When I had the Pecos River Cafe in New York City, we could rarely make enough servings  to get through the dinner service. 

This week I decided to share the recipe with its hints and tips which really need to be followed.  The class this week, we will be making it is sold out.  I didn't want to deny any of you the pleasure of knowing how to make it.  Come join a class sometime soon  where we make it, you'll have so much fun enjoying  cooking it with other New Mexican cooking enthusiasts.  The recipe follows.      The very important key ingredient is the special and fresh caribe chile which is on sale this week for  20% OFF.

Now is the perfect time to plan your holiday cooking and baking.  If you are a traditionalist--and always have turkey for Thanksgiving, you may wish to purchase one asap as there is a huge shortage forecasted due to a virus that killed off a very large amount of the crop intended for Thanksgiving tables.

For delicious and memorable party and family meals--think about carne adobado, enchiladas, tacos and posole as dishes for your next family gathering or party.  For example, carne is best made from pork shoulder--always a  very economical cut.  A pound of posole serves on average 16 people, making it also  a dollar stretcher. And tortillas are always a bargain--with the filing and sauces economical creating a fun party idea that is mighty tasty.  An essential chile for both carne adobado and posole is caribe and I am placing it on a special of 2% off which is a great deal--it is 20% off last year's price.

With inflation causing baking and cooking to be more expensive, you may feel it necessary to modify some of your usual customs.  I just heard that, for example--nationwide, eggs are 30% more expensive  than last year.

I would love for you to come cook with me if you can spare the time.  I still have a few openings in the November 17--New Mexico Favorites class  and a few openings in the 2nd Southwest Holiday class featuring traditional New Mexican fare.   I will be finishing the  calendar for next spring  very soon, and will be telling you in my blogs.

Here's my Carne  Adobado recipe.  It freezes very well and is so versatile to serve as is, for breakfast with eggs, in burritos and enchiladas, in tacos and so on.


(Pork with Red Chile Sauce)

This is one of the best, if not the very best-tasting, pork creations from northern New Mexico.  Traceable back to Conquistador days, this dish has somehow never gained favor outside of New Mexico.  I think it is because crushed caribe chiles are hard to find outside the area.  I always make a full five and one half pound recipe because I like to have lots available for burritos, tacos, and enchiladas, or to serve over or under  rice, beans or eggs.

Yield:  10-12 servings 

1/2 cup crushed caribe chile

1/4 cup ground mild chile

1/4 cup ground hot chile

3 garlic cloves

2 Tablespoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons Mexican oregano

2 teaspoons salt

4 cups water

5-1/2 pounds bone-in pork shoulder, cut into ½ inch thick chops (trimmed so as to keep a narrow layer of fat around the edges) 

  1. Process all the ingredients except pork in a blender or food processor. Pour into a flat-bottomed glass baking dish.  Dip each pork chop into the marinade and lay to one side of the baking dish as you coat the rest.  Let marinate 30 minutes at room temperature, periodically spooning chile mixture over the top and turning chops over.  Then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.  (The pork can be frozen for up to 3 months at this point.) 
  1. In the morning, stir and coat each pork chop with chile sauce. Stir and coat again.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Cover pan with lid or foil; bake chops, covered for the first 30 minutes.  Remove cover and bake 2 to  2-1/2 hours longer, spooning the sauce over chops every 30 minutes.  Let cool. 
  1. Using a sharp knife, remove bones and pull meat apart with your fingers to shred the pork into about 25 cent size pieces—do not finely shred the pork.  Place shredded meat back in the baking dish and stir to coat the meat pieces.  If the sauce in the bottom of the dish is like thin gravy, no need to cover.  If it is thick, stir in water to make a gravy and coat each piece of meat and cover    Bake at least 30 minutes or longer at 250F  to allow the sauce to cook into the  pork.  When done, the meat should be a bright rosy red color and very tender.





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