Mexican dishes are considered to be one of the most diversified in the world. They are rich in flavors and colors and cochinita pibil is definitely not an exception. Cochinita pibil is a spicy pork recipe, which has a great reputation in Mexico as well as outside of Mexico.
Cochinita pibil or Puerco pibil is a slow roasted pork recipe, which originally belongs to the Yucatan Peninsula. In this recipe, the pork is flavored with a variety of spices and colored with a special kind of spice, called annatto seeds.
The marinated pork is then roasted slowly for 3-4 hours, wrapped up in banana leaves. The slow roasting procedure turns the pork very tasty and unbelievably tender. So, make sure you try this legendary Mexican recipe.
Difficulty Level: Easy
Servings Per Recipe: 4-6
Time Required For Preparation: 15-20 minutes
Time Required For Cooking: 4 hours
3-4 lbs. of pork shoulder or pork butt
4-5 banana leaves
½ cup of white vinegar
1 shot of premium quality tequilla
2-3 habanero peppers, deseeded and finely chopped
½ cup of fresh orange juice
Chopped cilantro, for garnishing
Queso seco, for serving
Pickled red onions, for serving
Flour or corn tortillas, for serving
For The Achiote Paste
4 tablespoons of annatto seeds
A pinch of salt
6-7 allspice berries
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1/3rd teaspoon of whole cloves
7 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon + ½ teaspoon of black peppercorns
For The Pickled Onions:
2 large red onions, shredded
½ cup of fresh orange juice
A pinch of salt
1 large baking pan
1 coffee grinder
1 chopping board
Method Of Cooking
1. Take out the pork from the refrigerator to thaw it for at least 45-60 minutes. While the pork is thawing, take a coffee grinder and put the allspice berries, annatto seeds, bay leaf, cloves, black peppercorns and the cumin seeds in it. Put the lid on the coffee grinder and then grind the spice mixture until you get a very smooth powder. Shake the coffee grinder once or twice to toss the spices and to get a smoother and finer powder.
2. Once done, set aside the powdered spice mixture and then put ½ cup of orange juice, the grounded spice mixture and the white vinegar into a blender. Then take the cloves of garlic and crush them with the side of your knife. Peel off the skins of the garlic cloves and then add them to the mixture in the blender. Finally, take the habanero peppers and snap off their tips. Slice the habanero peppers in half and then remove their seeds. Cut out the veins from the habanero peppers and then chop them very finely. Once done, add the finely chopped habanero peppers and a pinch of salt to the mixture in the blender and then blend the mixture until you get a very smooth sauce.
3. Once done, add a splash of tequila and the lemon juice to the sauce in the blender. Whip up the sauce once again and then set it aside. Next, take the thawed pork and cut it into 2-inch sized cubes. Once done, put the pork cubes into a colander and then rinse each of the pieces separately. Shake the colander a few times to discard the excess water and then put the pork cubes into a large plastic zip-lock bag. Pour the prepared sauce over the pork cubes and then seal the bag tightly. Tilt and shake the bag to spread out the marinade all over the pork cubes. Let the pork sit in the marinade for 10 minutes.
4. While the pork is sitting in the marinade, take a baking pan and line it with 2-3 large banana leaves. Then drop the marinated pork over the banana leaves and spread them out into the entire baking pan. Cover the marinated pork with some more banana leaves and then cover up the entire baking pan tightly with aluminum foil. Once done, insert the baking pan into a 325 degrees Fahrenheit preheated oven and roast the pork for 3-4 hours or until it turns very tender.
5. While the meat is cooking, take 2 large red onions and shred them very finely. Then pour some boiling water over the onions and let them sit in the water for 10 minutes. Drain away the water after 10 minutes and then add the orange juice and a pinch of salt to the strained onions. Let the onions sit in the orange juice for minimum 1 hour or until it is ready to be served.
6. Once the meat is cooked, take out the pan from the oven and uncover it. Let the meat sit at room temperature until it cools down a bit. While the pork is cooling down, warm up the tortillas either on a griddle or a sauté pan. Once done, take a tortilla and put 2-3 cubes of meat at the centre of it. Top that with the pickled onions, queso seco and the chopped coriander leaves. You can also serve your cochinita pibil over warm cooked white rice.