Though Texas is famous for chili, this little-known chili-based dish deserves a Texas-sized reputation. Our recipe reproduces the rich and complex, smoky yet bright, spicy yet sweet flavors using ingredients available in the supermarket.
Why This Recipe Works
We tested several promising recipes for Carne Adovada that called for toasting, seeding, and grinding nearly two dozen dried New Mexico chiles. Tasters loved the toasty, fruity notes from all those chiles, but we wanted to reproduce those flavors using supermarket ingredients. We began by reaching for a jar of chili powder, typically a mixture of dried ground chiles, cumin, oregano, and garlic—the same spices used in traditional carne adovada recipes. To give the sauce smoky depth and heat, we used canned chipotle chiles. To replicate the subtle, fruity quality of the dried New Mexican chiles traditionally used in this dish, we turned to raisins, which we soaked in hot coffee to soften before making a puree. To thicken the sauce, we stirred in flour with the spices, which gave it necessary heft.