Carne Adovada

Bring a bit of México to your kitchen: The marinade for Carne Adovada makes use of a tasty combo of red chiles, ground cloves, honey, Mexican oregano, cayenne pepper, and cumin. 

Carne Adovada translates to mean "marinated meat" and the meat is used in a variety of tacos, burritos, nachos, rice bowls, and more!

Carne Adovada tacos with spicy poblano sauce

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Adobada or Adovada? 
 Adobada means “marinated” in Spanish and is a dish that originated in Mexico. It is based on pork, dried red chiles, and spices and can be braised or grilled. Adovada refers to a dish from New Mexico that also contains pork but features local New Mexico dried red chiles and is always braised.

Adovada is a general term that refers to meat (Carne) that is marinated in a very thick, flavorful, chile-based mixture. It is on the spicy side--but the flavor dominates the tingle of capsaicin heat, and the Carne Adovada is marinated and cooked so long and low that it practically melts in your mouth. 

Carne Adovada

Ingredients  for Making Carne Adovada

You probably have all the ingredients in your cabinet right now, plus or minus the red chiles/chile powder that will really up the flavor!

Spices & Seasonings: Ground cumin, ground clove, garlic powder, sea salt or kosher salt, Mexican oregano, New Mexico chile powder, and ground cayenne pepper

Liquids: Honey, white vinegar, and lime juice

Meat: Boneless Pork Butt or Boneless Pork Loin

Step-by-Step Instructions to Make Carne Adovada

  • Brining: In a large bowl, mix pork cubes with 1 tbsp of kosher or sea salt, and toss to completely coat; refrigerate for 1 hour.  

Why do this?
 Brining pork cubes before cooking is an easy way to make them extra juicy and tender! The brine helps the meat to draw in moisture (and salt) adding tons of flavor.

Carne Adovada
  • Cover dried chiles with 8 cups boiling water, and let sit for 30 minutes. 

Chile pods in pot

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  
  • Drain chiles, reserving 1 & 1/2 cups of soaking liquid from chiles, and transfer chiles to a blender along with chile powder, honey, vinegar, cumin, cloves, garlic, salt, oregano, and cayenne. Slowly add reserved soaking liquid and blend until smooth, about 3 minutes. Puree until smooth (not runny) and set sauce aside.
  • In a dutch oven on medium-high heat, place pork cubes and sauce, stir to coat completely, and bring to a boil. Remove from the stove, and place the covered pot on the middle rack in preheated oven for 2 - 2 1/2 hours, or until tender.
  • If you don't have a dutch oven, use your Crock-pot, it takes a little longer to cook but it will give the same results. Set the slow cooker on high, and it will take 4-6 hours, the low setting will take 6-8 hours. 
  • If you have a large cast-iron skillet with a cast-iron lid...that will work as a replacement for the dutch oven.

Uncooked Carne Adovada

Remove from oven and stir in any bits on the inside of the pot and let sit for 10 minutes. All those little bits are smoky flavor bits that make Carne Adovada unique in taste.

Carne Adovada in Dutch Oven

  • To serve, place the meat on a plate with a side of rice and beans, and warm tortillas. For tacos, overlap 2 tortillas on each plate, top with 1/2 cup of meat, some onions, and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro. Squeeze lime juice over all tacos.

Carne Adovada Tacos

How do I serve Carne Adovada's leftovers?

Delicious ways to serve
Carne Adovada Tacos
Carne Adovada Burrito
Top Nachos with Carne Adovada
Top Cilantro Rice with Carne Adovada for a Rice bowl

Store Carne Adovada in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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Carne Adovada

Carne Adovada