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New Mexico Carne Adovada (Pork Marinated in Red Chile)

New Mexico style carne adovada or pork marinated and slow-cooked in red chile | mjskitchen

I thought I would start the new year off with the most requested recipe of 2014 – Carne Adovada, pork marinated in New Mexico red chile – a relatively simple dish to make.  It takes about an hour’s worth of work on day 1, then a long braise on day 2.  Bobby and I made this for Christmas Day along with Green Chile, Corn, and Mushroom Tamales, roasted red chile tamales and a citrus salad. There was a lot of “Christmas” in this house with all of the red and green!

New Mexico carne adovada is a very meaty dish consisting of chunks of pork shoulder marinated for about 24 hours in a red chile sauce, then slow cooked in the oven for 2 to 4 hours depending on oven temperature and the amount of pork. This process yields tender pieces of pork that easily pull apart with a fork and that melt in your mouth, releasing the spicy, earthy goodness of New Mexico’s red chile.

There are thousands of carne adovada recipes out there as well as carne adobada recipes, Mexico’s version of meat marinated in red chile.  All are very similar with slight differences in amounts or omissions of various ingredients such as vinegar, cumin, coriander, and oregano, as well as the types of chiles used.  The red chile for my carne adovada is made with New Mexico red chile and is as simple as my regular red chile sauce recipe, but with a few minor differences. It uses basic ingredients such as onion, garlic, dried red chile pods, oregano and a little vinegar.  When the red chile pods are really, really hot, I add just a touch of honey to tone the heat down a bit.

Serve carne adovada with a flour tortilla, a simple salad and some beans or rice (if you choose), and you have yourself a deliciously hearty and spicy meal.

New Mexico style carne adovada or pork marinated and slow-cooked in red chile | mjskitchen

 

New Mexico style carne adovada or pork marinated and slow-cooked in red chile | mjskitchen

Kitchen Notes

Pork Shoulder (pork butt) Size – For this recipe I usually start with an 8 pound, bone-in, pork shoulder. Once I remove the bone and much of the fat, I end up with about 5 pounds of meat.  Therefore, if you just want to start with a 5-6 pound boneless shoulder that would save the time of cut away the bone. I use the bone to make a pork stock.  You could also use a 3-4 pound boneless shoulder.  This would yield a smaller batch, but it would also only take about 2 hours of cook time.  Just be sure to reduce the amount of red chile.

Cutting up the pork – I personally am not fond of biting into a big piece of fat with I eat carne adovada; therefore, we trim the larger pieces of fat off of the cut pieces of meat.  However, we don’t get too carried away because we want to leave some of the fat for flavoring.

As mentioned, we usually cut the meat into about 2 inch chunks. This yields larger pieces that can be pulled apart with a fork once cooked.  Smaller pieces (1 inch cubes) yield bite size pieces that won’t need to be “pulled”.

Chile Pods and chile powder – If your pods are hot, then use mild to medium chile powder.  This helps bring down the heat of really hot chile pods and adds a little depth to the flavor of the chile. If your chile pods are mild to medium, then use hot chile powder for a spicier chile. When I’m using a VERY hot chile, I’ll reduce the number of pods to 20 pods, then add 2 tablespoons of powder.

Honey – Honey kills the burn.  Therefore, honey is a great ingredient to help reduce a little of the heat from the chile as well as bitterness.  However, be careful and don’t add too much.  More than 2 teaspoons can make your red chile too sweet.

Amount of red chile sauce – The amount of red chile made in this recipe is plenty for 5- 7 pounds of meat, but is too much for any less than that.  A rough estimate for how much red chile you need is ½ cup of red chile for 1 pound of meat. You can always add more for a saucier carne adovada. You just want to make sure that you use enough chile to fully coat the pieces of pork.

Oven Temperature – I have found it best to braise carna adovada at a lower temperature of 300°F.  However, if you don’t have to time to braise for 3 hours, you can increase the temperature to 350°F and cook for 1 to 1.5 hours. If you choose to cook at a higher temperature, just cut the pieces of meat smaller, about 1″ cubes.

The amount of liquid in the cooked meat – Some people may want a stew like carne adovada with quite a bit of sauce, while others, like it a little saucy, but not soupy.  If you want a more stew like carne, then wait and uncover the Dutch oven 2.5 hours into cooking.  However, if you want the chile thicker and more saucy, then uncover after 2 hours of cooking.  If you want it even less sauce, then you can use a slotted spoon to scoop out the meat, throw it into a skillet and cook off even more of the sauce before serving. Just don’t cook off too much. You’ll need some sauce for the flour tortilla. :) I actually love having extra sauce for making carne adovada enchiladas with the leftovers.

This recipe make a large batch of carne adovada, so unless you’re serving 8 – 10 people, you will have leftovers. But never fear, this freezes very well and can be used in a variety of dishes such as burritos, enchiladas, tacos, and tostadas.

 

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Posole’ with Italian Sausage and Kale

Posole' with an Italian twist - Fresh posole', Italian sausage, tomatoes, and Kale | mjskitchen.com #posole #kale #recipe

 

Accepting the end of summer is very hard for me, but last week when the night time temperatures dropped into the 40s, I had to relent. Visions of soup started popping into my head and pictures of posole’ started popping up on the internet.  With every picture my craving for posole’ increased and finally increased to the point where I succumbed to the craving.  I knew I had some posole’ in the freezer, so using other ingredients on hand, I threw together this soup which we’ll call a Mexican-Italian fusion of posole’, Italian sausage and kale.  I wasn’t quite sure if it was going to work, but it did.  Bobby, who is as picky about his posole’ as I am, loved it! The depth of flavor in this soup keeps going and going and going, and the richness of the soup stock … well, just look at it.  I could drink the stock and make a meal out it.

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The Quintessential Green Chile Cheeseburger

The quintessential Green Chile Cheeseburger | mjskitchen.com

 

New Mexico’s chile season is upon us!  Yesterday I went over to one of my favorite local suppliers, Sichler Farms, and bought my first 10 pounds of chile for 2014 – 5 pounds of medium and 5 pounds of hot.  When I got home I couldn’t wait to try it, so I lit up the grill and started roasting and peeling.  For supper we made the Quintessential Green Chile Cheeseburger.  Both of us agreed that, even though we’ve eaten A LOT of green chile cheeseburgers in our lifetime, this was the best hamburger we had ever made and possibly ever eaten.  Every bite was a burst of spicy, meaty chile complemented with the sweetness of Golden Jubilees picked fresh from our garden.  A burger can’t get much better than this.

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Hash Brown Cakes with Andouille Sausage

Hash Brown Cakes with Andouille sausage and red chile pepper flakes. mjskitchen.com

 

There are potato cakes and then there are hash brown cakes.  Hash brown cakes are made with grated, uncooked potatoes, where as potato cakes are made with mashed potatoes.  My preference – hash brown cakes – any day of the week.  The Hash Brown Cakes that I’m dishing up today have it all.  They have andouille sausage, some diced vegetables, Pecorino Romano, and last, but not least, a very special red chile flake all the way from Turkey.  Serve these cakes with a vegetable side, some pinto beans or top with a fried egg for a complete meal.  See the Kitchen Notes for more side suggestions.

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Spicy Mint Pesto with Grilled Lamb Chops

Mint Pesto with Lime and Red Chile Flakes | mjskitchen.com

 

From the title of this post and the pictures, you’ve probably figured out that this post is more about the mint pesto than the lamb.  I could just sit and eat this Spicy Mint Pesto with a spoon.  To heck with the lamb chops. :) Not really, we do love lamb chops and get some great ones at Costco.  Bobby always grills them and then I make a simple little sauce to go with them.   During the summer when my spearmint goes bonkers, as mint always does, I love making this spicy mint pesto, which, as all lamb lovers know, mint is a great complement to lamb.

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Beef and Chorizo Enchiladas

Restaurant style enchiladas with beef, chorizo and red chile sauce  mjskitchen.com

 

During our Abiquiu trip, we took a drive through El Rito, New Mexico, and on to Ojo Caliente.  Ojo Caliente is another small New Mexico town which is well known for its Mineral Springs Resort & Spa. Originally, we were going to eat lunch at the spa restaurant, but once we arrived and saw how crazy, busy the place was we decided to go elsewhere. We were looking for something a lot more laid back, which was the general theme of our vacation. :) So we drove back to the main road where we saw a sleepy looking cafe called the Mesa Vista Cafe.

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Beans and Rice with Sausage – An Easy One Pot Meal

A quick and easy beans and rice dish. Prep to service - less than 45 minutes! mjskitchen.com

 

Beans and Rice is one of those meals that can be time-consuming and dirty up a lot of dishes, or it can be quick and easy.  This Beans and Rice recipe made with pinto beans and sausage is quick and easy to make, delicious and a quick cleanup.  You can change it up every time you make it, switching out the type of beans or sausage, or even making it meatless.  Or you can hit on that one combination that you love and make it over and over again.  Either way – it makes a very easy and delicious meal when it’s one of those nights that you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen but you want something hearty to eat.  Start to service, this dish is less than 45 minutes!

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30+ Recipes Using Preserved Lemons

A host of recipes that used preserved lemons mjskitchen.com

 

Do you have a jar of preserved lemons sitting in the refrigerator feeling ignored?  Well, it’s time to quit ignoring it and put those lemons to use.  If you don’t have any preserved lemons, do not fret – one of the following recipes tells you how to make a small batch in just 24 hours.  Following are at least 30 luscious recipes that take advantage of the unique and absolutely divine flavor of preserved lemons.

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Stovetop Smoked Beef Tri-Tip with Bourbon Sauce

A flavorful and tender beef tri-tip smoked on the stovetop in less than 30 minutes. mjskitchen.com

 

Don’t let the word “smoked” scare you away from this recipe.  With the right equipment, beef tri-tip can be smoked on the stovetop in less than 30 minutes!  All you need is a good dry rub and a stovetop smoker with a few mesquite “chips”.  The stovetop smoker that we use is the Cameron Smoker. As you can see in the pictures below, ours has had a lot of use over the years.  We’ve had it for about 30 years and it’s been a great little smoker for year round smoking of proteins such as beef, duck, turkey, pork, and fish.  This Smoked Beef Tri-Tip with Bourbon Sauce is my favorite thing to smoke but only just a little ahead of alder smoked wild salmon.

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