Apr 24, 2012

Carne Adovada Tacos

From the kitchen of: Isabel   Makes: 4-6 servings (depending on size of beef chuck)
Total time:
20 min to prep, 24 hours to marinade, 6-8 hours to cook in a crock pot

Having taken six years of Spanish during my middle school and high school years, I still had to Google the Spanish term, “Adovada.” All that learning gone to waste! Haha. Well, the term “Carne Adovada” (also known as “Adobada”) in Spanish means marinated meat. It’s a New Mexican cuisine, which typically uses pork and marinates it in a red chili sauce with garlic and several different spices.

The chili is key. It is what actually gives the meat all that yummy flavor and heat. For my tame taste buds, I went for a dried medium-hot chili called “New Mexico Chili,” packaged in a big plastic bag I found at Latino Village on 6003 W. Broad street. You are welcome to go hotter if you like. There’s usually a “hot” indicator scale on the front of the bag.

I also decided to use beef chuck, for no good reason. Just felt like eating beef that day, I’ll certainly try it with pork another day. I only have Nat from Nat’s Taco Truck Stop to thank for introducing me to my first Carne Adovada, which was in the form of a taco. I just had to learn how to make it at home when his newest restaurant didn’t carry them. Bring them back, Nat!!

1.5 lbs beef chuck (boneless pot roast)
8 New Mexico chili pods
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt & pepper
2 cups water for boiling, 1/2 cup water for marinade, 1 cup water for crockpot

flour soft tortillas
diced avocado
shredded cheese
sour cream

1. Prep the New Mexico chili.
First, preheat the oven to 350°. Then, slice the tops of the chili pods and discard the tips. Place the chili on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 6-8 minutes. Meanwhile, bring to a boil 2 cups of water on the stove top. Once the chili become slightly toasted, remove them from the oven. Slice each one down the middle to remove all the seeds. Place the de-seeded toasted chili pods in a medium-size bowl and pour the boiling water over them allowing the chili to soften for 3-5 minutes.

2. Blend the marinade. In a blender, add the soften chili pods, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper and just 1/2 cup of chili infused water. Blend together until the chili pods has been broken down into a thick paste. Take the marinade and cover the beef chuck completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, if possible. If not, at least 4-6 hours.

3. Crock pot the marinated beef. Place the beef with all the juices and marinade in the crock pot. Add a cup of water so the meat doesn’t become dry. Cover and allow to cook on low for 6-8 hours, turning at least once. The meat should be fork tender. Once it is, shred with two forks. To make tacos, scoop some of the carne adovada in a heated flour tortilla. Top with salsa, diced avocados, shredded cheese and a drizzle of sour cream. Enjoy!

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