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Carne Adovada on Navajo Fry Bread

Carne Adovada on Navajo Fry Bread

There are dishes served in New Mexico that will make you question the very foundation of your existence.

It all seems much shakier when you realize how good juevos rancheros are supposed to be. What else have you been missing? Is this how food tastes in other parts of the Multi-Verse and some just slipped into our dimension? Does this portend other momentous changes in the laws of physics, mathematical truths or even our own perceptions?

And, oh wow, I haven’t seen the Ewoks movie since I was a kid. What if it wasn’t that good?

My point is that the food is fantastic.


So we made the best of the best: Carne Adovada on Navajo Fry Bread. In New Mexico this dish and variations on it are affectionately known as Indian Tacos. They are served in restaurants, food trucks and, if you are extremely lucky, you can find Navajo or Pueblo Indians serving them in makeshift kitchens along the side of a road. (Just a word of advice: If you see a Native American serving tacos on the side of the road, stop.)

Honestly, we can’t compete with thousands of years of culture and skill when trying to replicate the Indian Taco. But if you don’t live in New Mexico, the old college try tastes pretty good anyway. That holds doubly true if you use ludicrously good pork.


We spruced up the recipe a little with our Kurobuta pork collar from Snake River Farms. And, because fry bread has to be fried, we used American Kobe beef tallow instead of vegetable shortening to give it more flavor.

The one thing you can’t replace is the chile. The New Mexican chile pepper is unique, flavorful and glorious. We recommend you get some dried specimens sent to you – and we’ll teach you how to prepare them below. But you can also buy chile powder, which will “work.” Just like making a hamburger with sliced sandwich bread will “work.” Do what you have to.


A final word on the pork part of the recipe: This is not the Mexican version called Carne Adobada. It is very specific to New Mexico and marinating pork in red chile before braising it, sampling it and submitting it for testing as a miracle.

This all takes a bit of work. But if you have the gumption, the time and the follow through, it’s going to be one of the best meals you’ll have this year.

Just be prepared for the existential crisis that follows.



For the Chile

1 pound Dried New Mexico Chile Pods
8 cloves garlic
One third of a white onion (sliced)
2 Bay leaves
1.5 Tbsp Garlic Salt
1 Tbsp Oregano
Salt to taste

For the Navajo Fry Bread

3 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup powdered milk
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup Snake River Farms American Kobe beef tallow

For the Carne Adovada

One 4-pound Snake River Farms Kurobuta Pork Collar
New Mexican Style Red Chile


For the Chile

Cut off the stems of the dried chile and remove the seeds. Place the chile pods into a pot with bay leaves and fill with water until it covers all of the pods. Allow it to soak for 10 minutes.

Place the pot on high heat over the stove until the water begins to boil. Lower the heat to medium and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Do not drain.

In the meantime, smash garlic cloves and place them with a small amount of cooking oil in a skillet. Cook until fragrant (2-3) minutes on medium heat and remove, separating them from the oil.

In batches, put chile pods in a blender with proportional amounts of garlic and onion (if you put half the pods in the blender, use half the garlic and onion). Liquefy, adding small amounts of the chile pot water until it has a saucy, but not too watery, texture. Repeat with remaining chile and mix all batches together in a bowl.

Use the blender one more time, but add proportional amounts of the garlic salt and oregano to each batch going in the blender. Use a colander to separate out the remaining pulp from the chile pods.

Place back on the stove and simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste.

For the Carne Adovada

Lightly trim pork collar to remove any large fat deposits on outside of the cut. Cut it into cubes about 1.5 to 2-inches and place in a cast iron pot. Add enough chile to cover every part of the pork and mix well. Place lid over the pot and refrigerate overnight. Feel free to extend marinating time to up to 2 days.

Pre-heat oven to 275 degrees. Place the pork already marinating in the cast iron pot (covered casserole dish if you do not have cast iron) into the oven.

Cook, with lid on, for three to four hours. Check every hour to stir the mixture and add more chile if it begins to dissipate. When it becomes fork tender, remove from the oven.

Use a fork to shred the pork. Add even more chile and stir. Serve warm over the Navajo Fry Bread with taco fixings like lettuce, tomato, sour cream and sharp cheddar cheese.

For the Navajo Fry Bread

Combine the flour, baking powder, powdered milk and salt. Add water slowly until there is just enough to turn the mixture into dough.

Cover your hands in flour and lightly knead the dough until smooth. Let sit for an hour, covered. Shape into disks that are a half-inch thick or less. This should make about 10, give or take a couple (and your size preference.

Melt tallow in a deep-side skillet or a pot. Keep tallow temperature at 350 degrees or above. Place individual disks of dough in the tallow and fry until golden colored. Flip over halfway through and make sure both sides are cooked equally.

Remove and place on paper towels to soak up excess tallow. Repeat.

Serve warm.

Our story

Snake River Farms is celebrated world-wide by chefs and connoisseurs. Our family-owned business is focused on creating the most delicious beef and Kurobuta pork available.

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  • Your creative ideas are yummyl

    09/01/2016 by kay setter

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