Carne Adovada is a versatile dish and has been common in much of Santa Fe’s history. The name actually means cured or pickled meat. In days long past, the slaughtering of an animal only came at certain times of the year. This meat would have to be kept somehow for later use. With refrigeration and other means of food preparation and storage, this custom has changed, but the Carne Adovada remains a popular dish. The name is used to describe a meat, usually pork, that has been stewed in a red sauce.
Carne Adovada is a ranch house-type food, meaning it can be kept cooking on the stove to feed hungry visitors as they arrive. It can be kept ready for several days by simply adding more water and sauce to the pot and keeping the meat moist and hot. Carne Adovada is not a spur of the moment meal as it takes 24 hours or more to marinate. I should emphasize the “more” because at least 48 hours is needed to make this dish how it should really be made. You will not regret the extra day of marinating if you have the time.
Carne Adovada can be quite plain on its own, and should be served in a way that highlights the wonderful spicy goodness. Adovada is one of the best ways to prepare meat for a tamale stuffing. This increases its versatile nature . Stuffing it into a tortilla, either wheat or or corn, and adding it to a meal is a wonderful finishing touch.
This recipe, comments, and photos are courtesy of Cynthia Detterick-Pineda of Andrews, TX. Photo credit: Platter of Carne Adovada from Santa Fe School of Cooking
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