Carne Adobada

Carne Adobada

There are so many traditional Mexican dishes and I love learning the history behind them. For example, this dish is called carne adobada and is a chile-braised pork that I have enjoyed at restaurants, but never made at home.

I grew up eating chile colorado con carne, which is similar to this dish, but made with beef instead of pork.

This recipe is from the book Taqueria Tacos: A Taco Cookbook to Bring the Flavors of Mexico Home, written by my online amiga Leslie who blogs over at Some of you might not know this, but Leslie translated the Spanish edition, Muy Bueno: Tres Generaciones de Auténtico Sabor Mexicano.

Carne Adobada

When I heard that she was publishing a cookbook of her own I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. It’s a great book filled with not only taco fillings, but delicious entrees, sides, salsas, and drinks. I highly recommend getting your hands on her cookbook. There are so many other recipes I’m excited to make.

Ok, back to this dish…It is the ultimate comforting dish served with warm corn tortillas, beans, and rice.

Like I mentioned, I grew up eating chile colorado con carne in Texas, but noticed that in New Mexico carne adovada was all the rage. So where does carne adobada come from? And is it carne adovada or adobada?

Carne Adobada

Carne Adovada is a specialty in New Mexican cuisine and usually served as a main entrée similar to a stew. Adovada/adobada is Spanish for “marinated”, which in general means to cook something in an adobo sauce—a sauce made with chiles, flavored with spices and vinegar.

In certain states in Mexico, carne adobada is a very common filling for tacos. Carne adobada can come in all shapes in sizes from simmered chunks to shreds.

ancho pasilla peppers

This recipe calls for a variety of chiles such as ancho, pasilla, and guajillo. I actually did not have any guajillo chiles, so I doubled the amount of ancho chiles. They share a comparable sweetness and earthiness, but they are not as spicy.

And there you have it…rich, bright, flavorful, spicy, tangy, meaty, with perfectly juicy, spoon-tender hunks of pork just waiting to fall apart in your mouth or to be tucked in a corn tortilla.

Carne Adobada

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Carne Adobada

Carne Adobada



  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the dried chiles and water to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the chiles have softened. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Drain.
  2. Blend the softened chiles, garlic, onion, vinegar, salt, cumin, pepper, oregano, and cinnamon in a blender until smooth.
  3. In a large bowl or baking dish, mix together the pork and chile purée until the meat is coated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the carne adobada and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the meat is cooked through. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 12 to 15 minutes, until all of the juices from the meat and adobo sauce have evaporated and the meat has started to brown. Serve with beans and rice, or use as a filling for tacos.


If dried pasilla chiles aren’t available, increase the number of dried ancho chiles to 6. Also, you can substitute one (14-ounce) can mild enchilada sauce for the dried chiles and water.

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