While the traditional carne adovada was meat actually cured in a red chili paste, this version tenderizes the cubes of pork through a long cooking process before adding the sauce. The New Mexico chilies are also called chilis de ristra, because they are the dried red chilies tied into long strings, or ristras. The recipe can be prepared up to 3 days ahead; it also freezes well.
- Pork Shoulder Meat - 10 pounds, rimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
- Water - 1/2 cup
- Chili Sauce
- Dried New Mexico Chilies - 12 to 14 large
- Garlic powder - 2 teaspoons
- Dried Oregano - 1-1/2 teaspoons
- Dried Cumin - 2 teaspoons
- Salt - 2 teaspoons
- Flour - 1/2 cup
- Oregano - 2 tablespoons
- Garlic powder - 2 tablespoons
- Salt - 1-1/2 tablespoons
- Water - 1-1/2 cups
To prepare the pork: Place the meat in a large pot with the water and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally and adding a little more water if the meat appears to be sticking.
To make the chili sauce: Stem, seed, and rinse the chilies, then place them in a pan of warm water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium or medium-low, and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, until tender. Drain, reserving the liquid. Puree the chilies in a blender or food processor with 2 cups of the reserved liquid and the seasonings. Strain and set aside.
To finish the dish: Drain any excess water from the meat pan, then sprinkle the flour over the meat; turn to coat it evenly. Cook about 10 minutes over medium heat, turning to brown all sides. Add the seasonings, water, and chili sauce. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, until the liquid has nearly evaporated.
To serve: Spoon onto plates. Refried beans, seasoned rice, and tortillas make good accompaniments.