Carne Adovada Sous-Vide

It was no surprise at all that the first recipe of 2014 on was a chile recipe. This pork dish from New Mexico seemed fairly straightforward and delicious, and I thought it would be nice to tweak it just a little and use pork stock and cook the pork sous-vide. Pork shoulder is cooked in a sauce of dried chiles and spices. The first time I made the mistake of cooking it along with a smoked ham hock in the same sous-vide water bath, which imparted an unpleasant bitter aftertaste to the dish. I made it again and then it turned out delicious. Thanks, Richard!

There are two advantages to preparing this sous-vide. The first is that you can prepare it on a rainy Sunday afternoon, stick it in the sous-vide cooker and then forget about it until dinner time on Tuesday. Then you only need to open the bag and serve. The second is that the pork will be more tender and juicy than you can imagine. After 48 hours at 57ºC/135ºF the pork is thoroughly pasteurized and absolutely safe to eat, even though it looks pink.

If you don’t have sous-vide equipment, you can also prepare this on the stove top or in the oven.


For 2 servings

300 grams (.66 lb) pork shoulder, cubed

3 Tbsp pork fat (the white layer that will end up on top when you make pork stock)

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

250 ml (1 cup) homemade pork stock

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground cumin

1 New Mexico mild Sandia chile

1 New Mexico hot Sandia chile

1 Pasilla Negro chile

1 Guajillo chile

1 tsp honey

2 tsp red wine vinegar

3/4 tsp salt


Stem and seed the chiles. The weight of chiles after seeding and stemming should be about 18 grams or .6 oz. The official way is to toast them in a skillet, but I prefer to do this in the oven for 5 minutes or so at 150ºC/300ºF.

Pat the pork dry with paper towels.

Heat the pork fat in a frying pan and brown the pork over high heat on all sides.

Take the pork out of the frying pan and set aside to cool.

Add the onion to the remaining pork fat and sauté over medium heat until slightly golden.

Add the garlic, and sauté for a minute longer.

Add the pork stock.

Scrape all the browned bits off the bottom with a wooden spatula.

Transfer the onion mixture to the blender. Add the toasted chiles, coriander, oregano, cinnamon, cumin, honey, red wine vinegar, and salt.


The mixture should be smooth.

Vacuum seal the pork with the sauce. Use a ziploc bag and the water displacement method if you don’t have a chamber vacuum sealer.

Cook sous-vide for 48 hours at 57ºC/135ºF.

When it is time to serve, take the bag out of the sous-vide cooker.

Remember that the meat is only  57ºC/135ºF, so for serving it is better to heat it up for a few minutes over medium heat in a non-stick frying pan, stirring.

Serve with a salad and warm tortillas.

13 thoughts on “Carne Adovada Sous-Vide

  1. Excellent Stefan. Believe it or not, I cooked this a couple of weeks ago and plan to post very soon too. My approach is far less scientific than yours, as you will see in the post. It was pretty wonderful all the same.
    Those chilis are very refined.


  2. Stefan, you always amaze me. You take a rustic, peasant dish and turn it into a pièce de résistance. This looks wonderful. I love the medium cooked pork and can only imagine how tasty this was. I probably should give this a try.
    Also, the new look of the blog is great. Much more professional looking.


    • Thanks, Richard. What I like about making stews/braises sous-vide is not only that I can keep the meat medium, but also that there is more consistency. Although oven is slightly more consistent than stovetop, they sometimes still end up too dry.


  3. Pingback: Homemade Pork Stock | Stefan's Gourmet Blog

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