Monday, July 5, 2010

Carne Adovada

Ok, this is a first for me since I’ve been blogging, but it’s my real passion… cooking. I recently purchased the Best of America’s Test Kitchen Best Recipes and Reviews 2010 magazine and saw a recipe that I knew I had to make right away. CARNE ADOVADA. If you’ve never heard of it, don’t feel left out, I hadn’t either. But I did know I would love it.

I altered the recipe just a bit by making my own chili powder and leaving out the recommended chipotle chile in adobo sauce. Since I made my own chili powder, I figured it would give the dish the boost it needed without the extra canned stuff. Don’t get me wrong, America’s Test Kitchen did the hard work by figuring out how to make this dish the best it could be with everyday items, so they get all the credit. I just wanted to give it my little spin and share the results with you.

This is one of those dishes that you can make beforehand and eat it later, because the longer you let the meat sit in this sauce, the more flavorful it will get. I served this with fresh corn tortillas, queso fresco and beans. Margaritas are optional for some, but not me. Plates are optional too. As soon as this came out of the oven, we were throwing it on corn tortillas and eating it over the sink. It's that good. Whether you want plates or a fancy drink, you make the call. Just make sure you give this a try.

So here we go:

Carne Adovada
(New Mexico Pork Chili)
Serves 6 to 8

¼      cup raisins
½      cup brewed coffee
1       (4 to 5-pound) boneless pork shoulder roast, fat trimmed to 1/8-inch thickness, and meat cut into 1 ½-inch chunks
         Salt and Pepper
1       tablespoon vegetable oil
2       onions, chopped medium (about 2 cups)
¼      cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½      cup chili powder (the recipe I used will follow)
1       teaspoon dried oregano
6       garlic cloves, minced
2 ½   cups low-sodium chicken broth
1       teaspoon grated lime zest plus 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
¼      cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the raisins and coffee in a small bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave until the liquid begins to boil, 1 to 3 minutes; let stand for 5 minutes, until the raisins are plump.
2. Pat the pork dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown half of the pork, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining pork.
3. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the Dutch oven. Add the onions and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the flour, chili powder, oregano, and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the broth and the raisin mixture, scraping up any browned bits, and bring to a boil. Working in 2 batches, transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return the sauce to the pot.
4. Add the browned pork to the sauce in the pot and transfer to the oven. (At this point I put a piece of parchment paper under the lid to make a good seal during braising time.) Cook, covered, until the pork is fork-tender, about 2 hours. Skim the sauce, then stir in the lime zest, lime juice, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve. (The chili can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Chili Powder
From the Professional Chef, The Culinary Institute of America, 8th edition
Makes 2 oz/57 g

1 ½ oz/43 g     dried chiles, ground (I used New Mexican chiles)
½ oz/14 g        ground cumin
1 tsp/2 g          dried oregano
½ tsp/1 g         garlic powder
¼ tsp/0.50 g    ground coriander
¼ tsp/0.50 g    ground cloves (optional)

1. Combine all the spices, including the cloves, if desired.
2. Place in a tightly sealed container and use within 1 month.

1 comment:

  1. Everything tastes better when you eat it over your kitchen sink. I can't wait to try this dish. It looks delicious!