Monday, May 20, 2019

Carne Adovada Ala Chef Lea Ann

When we were in Las Cruces, NM this past winter, I tried my first ever Carne Adovada and really enjoyed it, thinking I would make it when we got home but hadn’t gotten around to it.  So while at a Mexican restaurant in Ashville, NC during our recent RV Club rally, I ordered it and what I got looked nothing like what I was expecting.

Now it was time to make it using Chef Lea Ann’s recipe from her Cooking On The Ranch blog – I doubled her recipe to get the one below and after cooking the meat and the sauce I froze half (meat and sauce in separate bags) and cooked half per the directions for this meal.

5 pounds Pork loin roast cubed
salt and pepper to taste
6 Tablespoons olive oil
For the gravy:
6Tablespoons Butter
6Tablespoons Flour
¼ cup Chile Powder New Mexico Chimayo Red
5 cups Chicken Broth
2 large onions chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander ground, dried
2 teaspoon Oregano Preferably Mexican
4 Tablespoons Molasses Not Blackstrap
4 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar

1. Cut pork loin roast into large bite sized pieces. Salt and pepper to taste.  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, add pork pieces and brown on two sides. Cook in batches as not to crowd the pork. The pork will brown better.
2. Remove pork to a plate.
3. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add butter. Once butter bubbles and bubbles start to subside, add onions. Cook onions, stirring, until just starting to soften, about 5 minutes. 
4. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. About 1 minute.
5. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly for two minutes. Add chicken broth and cook stirring, until gravy starts to thicken. Add cumin, coriander and oregano. Cook for 1 minutes for flavors to blend.
6. Remove from heat and add browned pork.
7. Stir well, cover and place in refrigerator to marinade overnight. Or for at least 2 - 3 hours before cooking.
8. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
9. Cook 2 - 2 1/2 hours or until pork is tender.
10. Remove pork from oven and stir in molasses and vinegar.
11. Place the lid back on the pot and let it steep for about 15 minutes.
12. Serve with lime wedges. Serve with rice, hominy or beans, flour tortillas or all. You can also top with a dollop of Sour Cream and some fresh diced sweet onions.

We invited friends Russ and Kathy to join us for the evening so we could catch up from our winter travels so we had four opinions of the meal.

We got mixed reviews on the meat which I managed to overcook a little – hate it when I do that.  Russ and Kathy, who both order their meat well done and have a sweet tooth, thought the meat was perfect.  I thought it was overcooked (too dry for my taste) and believe I would have preferred the sauce without the last two additions that made it sweet – so when I cook the half that I froze, I will change the cooking time and leave out the vinegar and molasses.  Thanks Lea Ann for a fine entree. 

Our second dish was Mexican rice.

Mexican riceAdapted from Closet Cooking 

I slightly adapted Kevin’s recipe from his Closet Cooking blog and used one of his options – my changes are in ( ).

1 tablespoon oil (bacon grease)
1 onion, finely diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely diced (dash of cayenne)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 cup long grained rice
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
14 ounce can diced tomatoes – note 1
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 cup frozen peas, carrots, and corn

Note 1: Larry drained the tomatoes, added them back to the can and filled it with salsa – we always add salsa to our Mexican rice in a restaurant.

1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the onio and cook until tender, about 3-5 minutes before adding the cayenne, garlic, and cumin and cooking until fragrant, about a minute.
2. Add the rice, mix in the broth, tomatoes, salt and pepper, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 17-20 minutes.
3. Mix in the lime juice and enjoy!

The rice was moist and tender but next time I’ll use half the veggies as the full cup changed the flavor rather than just adding a some color.

The final dish was Charro Beans using our normal recipe and as always, I really liked them.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


5/16/19 event date


  1. It's so great that you found a way to replicate a vacation dish you enjoyed! Happy Monday, Larry!

  2. So glad you finally tried the recipe. That NM Red Chile Powder makes for some fine cuisine. I've made this recipe so many times trying to get it just right - to duplicate what I had in New Mexico, and about half the time I cooked the meat too long. A little dry, but man it sure tasted good. :) I'll be anxious to hear how you like it without vinegar and molasses.

  3. This is a new one to me and it sounds really good! I'm with you on the sweet with a meat dish though. Thanks!

  4. The carne adovada recipe sounds tasty. I like the idea of it marinating in the gravy for awhile before baking. I wonder if using pork shoulder instead of loin would help with the meat not getting too dry? I am with you and am not a fan of sweeter Mexican dishes so I would opt out of the molasses but would probably still like the zing from the vinegar.

    The rice and beans look tasty. I've never thought to add salsa to my Mexican rice in restaurants.

  5. Larry, I've had carne adovada when it wasn't too sweet so I think you must be on the right track. Overcooked pork isn't our thing either. I remember my mother screaming at Laurie when she served me a pork roast that was a little pink in the middle...claiming that Laurie was going to kill me. In the old days, pork had to be served 'gray'. That was the standard... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  6. Gosh, it's been years since I've made this. I never did get to try it while we were in New Mexico. That rice is mouth watering!


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