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Carne Adovada Means Mexican Pork Chili In Red Sauce

Updated: Feb 12

A Brief History

Pork Chili: Photo Source: Grill A Chef

New Mexico Carne Adovada or pork chili in red sauce is a meaty dish that comes from New Mexico. It uses pork, chili peppers, vinegar and is marinated or cooked in the sauce until tender and delicious. Using leftover pork butt cooked thoroughly or pork shoulder is a good choice for using in the stew. A pork butt can be cooked in the oven or in a crockpot and later used for this chili.

The pork can be marinated overnight or cooked in the sauce. Restaurants and home chef make this dish in different ways. This pork stew can be very spicy or mild. The pork is cut into cubes or shredded depending on how it is made. It is a popular dish in New Mexico. The Spanish found chiles used among the Aztecs when they migrated to Mexico in the 1500's. The chiles were grown in what today is called New Mexico.

The native people cooked game and used chiles with food. They used chiles for medicinal purposes. Chicken and hogs were introduced and chiles helped to preserve meat and poultry without refrigeration. Some say this recipe may be a mole. Some of the key ingredients are pork, chiles, oregano and garlic that grows wild in new Mexico. Some consumer or chef use several different types of Mexican chiles in this dish.

The pork can be cut raw or cooked and marinated in the refrigerator with the chiles and some vinegar overnight or for a few hours. Some chefs use crushed red chili, chili powder, onions, garlic, and oregano. Some butchers in New Mexico made and sold red pork chili in the 1960s in New Mexico. Some serve it with refried rice, Chiles were grown in what today is known as

This recipe may have originated from another recipe called Mole. Chef use dried chiles and dried spices. This is a classic New Mexican dish. It is similar to Texas chili or Chili Colorado. Chiles used in this dish are arbol, jalapeno, chipotle, anaheim, serrano, chipotle or dried jalapeno peppers.

Mild Chili Adovada Red Pork Chili Recipe

Photo Source: Commons Wikimedia

What You Will Need:

Equipment Needed: You will need a frying pan or skillet, cutting board, knife, measuring spoons, measuring cup, strainer, bowls or container, spoon to sauté, plastic gloves to handle hot chile peppers. This recipe is less spicy because it uses one type of chile pepper and some tomato sauce to make it red. You will find dried chile peppers in the produce department of your supermarket. Removing the seeds reduces the intensity of the heat.

Do not touch your face or eyes after using chili peppers. Wash your hands and surfaces with warm soap and water. You can soak the chiles in boiling water 20 to 30 minutes and cut them removing the seeds. This amplifies the heat and generally I prefer to use them dry and sauté them in oil.

Pork Butt: Tom Dixon/Flicker

When you look for a pork butt ask the butcher in your local supermarket. If you do not know how to cook it they can give you suggestion on the best method to use.


2 tablespoons of avocado oil or olive oil

1 medium white onion

1 teaspoon minced garlic

3 Arbol dried Chile peppers or Anaheim or dried jalapenos

1 lb. of raw or cooked pork butt cut into small cubes

1 cup of vegetable broth

1/2 cup of tomato sauce

1 tablespoon dried or fresh oregano diced fine

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar


The pork can be diced into cubes raw or cooked put in a container with a sprinkle of apple cider vinegar and paprika. It can be left in the refrigerator overnight or 1 hour or more.

Remove the end of the onion and discard remove peel and soak in bowl with warm water for 5 minutes. On a cutting board cut Chile peppers and remove seeds. Pour oil into skillet over medium heat and dice chiles into small pieces and add to the oil. Drain onion and dice into small pieces adding to the chilies. Let this cook for five minutes. Stir with spoon.

Add the diced pork and add more oil if needed. Sauté this about five minutes or longer if raw. When it is browned add the garlic, paprika, and let it cook. Add the vegetable broth, tomato sauce, oregano and apple cider vinegar and let it cook down and thicken about 20 minutes or longer. Watch it and stir occasionally. It can be served with rice or potatoes. Serves 2

Animation Source: Giphy


Finding a Cultural Touchstone in New Mexico's Carne Adovada by Meagan Kamerick March 2019

Carne Adovada by Mike Multquist, Chile Pepper Madness, October 2020

New Mexican Red Pork Chili Carne Adovada, Glebe Kitchen, 2024

Carne Adovada, New Mexico Chili Pork Stew, by Molly Watson, The Spruce Eats, October 12, 2022

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