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Worth the Drive: Carne Adovado in Chimayo, NM


Take the high road to Taos and you’ll be rewarded with some of the best New Mexican food the state has to offer
Image courtesy of Rancho Chimayo.
Image courtesy of Rancho Chimayo.

While the village of Chimayo is best known for its chapel, whose dirt floor is reputed to have healing powers, we make pilgrimages there for the food rather than the faith.

Just down the road from the chapel is Rancho de Chimayo, where the carne adovado—pork stewed to an amazingly delicious tenderness in red chiles—is enough to make you want to stay. Good thing there’s a B+B across the street.

Can’t Make it to Chimayo?

Try your hand at carne adovado in your own kitchen with this recipe from the Santa Fe School of Cooking:


1/3 c. peanut or vegetable oil
3-1/2 lbs. pork loin or butt, cut in 3/4-inch cubes
2 c. diced onion
2 T. minced garlic
4 c. chicken broth or water
2 t. ground coriander seed
2 t. dried Mexican oregano
2 t. chile caribe
3/4 c. Chimayo ground red chile, mild or medium
1 T. red chile honey
2 T. Sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
Salt to taste


Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Heat the oil in a large skillet and brown pork in batches. Set the pork aside. Add the onion to skillet and sauté until golden. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Deglaze the skillet with 1 c. of the chicken broth, loosening the browned bits with a spoon.
Place the coriander, oregano, chile caribe, red chile, honey, vinegar and salt in the work bowl of a food processor. Add the cooked onions, garlic and broth from the skillet and 2 more c. of chicken broth. Process until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
Place the browned pork, the chile marinade and the remaining 1 c. chicken broth in an ovenproof pot or dish, stir to combine well, and cook for 1 hour or until the pork is tender.
Serves 8
Optional seasonings: ground canela, ground cumin seed, toasted ground chile seeds, toasted ground pumpkin seeds.

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