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Christmas in Santa Fe 2013 - Carne Adovada Recipe

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I know Isabel and I sure have had a great time in Santa Fe, Taos and Albuquerque. As you can tell, besides the architecture, which we will also touch on in an upcoming blog, I LOVE the food of this area. So much of it consists of dishes I enjoyed as a young boy in Durango. Here is one of my favorites:

Carne Adovada

Carne adovada is pork stew in a sauce of ground dried chiles. This is one of my favorite dishes whether in Phoenix or New Mexico. I love it at breakfast with a couple of over easy fried eggs placed right on top.  Of course you need to accompany this dish with some home made flour tortillas. My Mom makes the best and I will try and get that recipe for you all soon.

You will want to use a fatty, tough cut like a butt/shoulder for this stew, since the meat will become more tender as it cooks long and slow.

Prep Time: 1 hour  Cook Time: 2 hours 
Total Time: 3 hours
Makes 6 servings
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 3 lbs. pork butt or pork shoulder well-trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 onions, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tsp. dried Mexican Oregano
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp. flour or masa harisa – or use gluten free flour.
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup (8 oz.) ground dried New Mexican red chile powder
- 6 cups chicken broth

1.         Preheat oven to 350°F.
2.         Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once the pot is hot, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the pork pieces to brown them. Add only enough pork so the pieces are in a single layer and don't touch each other; you will likely need to do this in batches. The pork should sizzle the second it touches the pot; if it doesn't, remove it and wait for the pot to heat up. Cook the pork, undisturbed, until each piece is well-browned on one side, about 3 minutes. Turn and brown on all sides. Transfer the pork to a large bowl or plate and repeat with remaining batches as needed.
3.        When all the pork is browned and set aside, add the onions, garlic, oregano and salt to the pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the onions with masa or flour and pepper and cook, stirring, until the raw flavor of the masa or flour cooks off (if you use flour it will smell a bit like pie crust), about 3 minutes.
4.        Add the ground chile and stir to combine. Add 4 cups of broth and bring to a boil.
5.        In a blender, whirl the chile mixture until smooth. Add the cinnamon to this mixture. You may want to do this in batches, depending on the size of your blender. Be sure to hold a kitchen towels over the top to protect yourself (and your walls) from any potential splatters. Return the chile mixture to the pot. Add another 1 cup of broth and the browned pork. Bring everything to a boil, cover, transfer to the oven, and bake for 1 hour.

6.        Take the pot out of the oven and stir the stew after the first hour. Add an additional 1 cup of broth to the pot if the stew seems dry. Re-cover the pot and return it to the oven to bake until the pork falls apart when you try to cut it with a fork and the sauce is thick, about 1 more hour. Serve the chile hot with fresh flour tortillas.