Carne adovada is the king of marinated New Mexican meats. It’s a right of passage. Carne adovada is a minor, red-chile religion. It’s wonderful. Just like grits in the south, or smoked salmon in the Pacific Northwest, you’ve got to try it, eat it, then make your own. Get it wrong and your mother will disown you, your neighbors will forever encourage their dogs to decorate your lawn.
You’ll be a disgrace. Fortunately, this recipe just works. Prepare for a barrage of “How did you make this?”
LET’S GET COOKIN’
For the fermentation
- beef chuck roast, stew meat, or pork shoulder, pork butt, or bone-in pork shoulder
- ground coriander
- Mexican oregano
- brown sugar (or honey)
- homemade red chile
- yogurt culture (if you’re fermenting, if not, you can skip a few steps)
- chicken stock
Prep your meat by cubing it and setting it in a large bowl. If you’re using bone-in pork shoulder, put the bone in the bowl (you’ll throw it in the pressure cooker later).
Combine the rest of the seasonings in separate bowl and stir until sugar is [decently] dissolved.
Next, get a clean kitchen towel and a 1 ½ cups of plain yogurt. Don’t stress about the kind. I always use whole fat, but you’re only using the yogurt for the lactobacillus cultures. Place a cup of yogurt in the towel and squeeze out the liquid over your bowl.
Pro Tip: Yogurt cultures look like milky water. That’s what you want. Don’t oversqueeze or you’ll get lumps of yogurt in your meat.
You can totally eat the dried yogurt puck when you’re finished… it’s just dried out yogurt. Drizzle with honey and eat it as a snack.
Stir up everything in the pot and give the meat a quick smell. If you’re using the official Ben Intentional red chile recipe, you should be smelling a lot of thick red chile and glorious roasted garlic flavors.
Now, we wait.
Cover, then throw that in the refrigerator for 2-5 days depending on how “tangy” you want your carne adovada to end up. Essentially, the live cultures are turning sugar (carbohydrates) into energy and creating a tiny bit of acid. It’s an old process that mankind has been utilizing for thousands of years.
Take the meat out of the fridge, add in a cup of chicken stock, then Instant Pot cook on high for 20-minutes.
If you’re cooking it on the stove, add in two cups of chicken stock, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about two hours. Check it every 30-minutes to make sure you still have liquid.
After it cooks you’ll have a nice film of fat riding just below your adovada juice. Strain off as much of the fat as you want/can then separate 1/4 cup (60 ml) of that liquid fat to make a slurry.
Pour the slurry over your HOT adovada and then add another cup of red chile. Salt to taste… annnd you’re done.
Don’t forget your homemade tortillas.
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS CARNE ADOVADA RECIPE
What’s the shelf life?
As with most things, carne adovada is best eaten fresh. However, if you’re a planner or like to make a little extra to enjoy later on, this carne adovada will keep up to four days in the refrigerator.
Can I freeze this carne adovada? How long?
You absolutely can! Freezing is a great way to make carne adovada ahead of time to enjoy later. It will keep in the freezer for two months.
Do I have to ferment it?
Nope! Although I will say fermenting the carne adovada brings out a unique and rich tart flavor. If you’re not fermenting, follow the recipe and simply add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar at the end (after you cook everything).
What meat do I need to use?
Traditionally, this is made with pork. I prefer it with beef. I’d suggest staying away from chicken. For the best carne adovada you need a fatty meat. Turkey could work, but I’ve never tried it.
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