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Cochinita pibil

Posted by Jeanne on June 16, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered a large amount of pork shoulder in my freezer.  14 pounds, actually – I know I bought a huge pork shoulder at the beginning of May to make tamales and then froze the rest, but I didn’t realize we hadn’t used any of it yet.

My former roommate dared me to make cochinita pibil out of it when I lamented the excess pork in our fridge on Facebook.  Zach – this one’s for you.

Achiote Paste

  • 3 TB achiote (annatto) seeds
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 TB freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 0.5 tsp ground cloves
  • 3 habanero peppers, seeded (I couldn’t find any habaneros so I used 2 Thai chilis.)
  • 0.5 C orange juice (I used the juice of 2 oranges)
  • 0.5 C white vinegar
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 TB kosher salt
  • 3 lemons, juiced

Mix all ingredients together in a large non-reactive bowl.

Cochinita Pibil

  • Achiote paste (recipe above)
  • 3 TB orange juice (juice of about 1 orange)
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 sprig fresh oregano, crushed to release oils
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 (3-pound) boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 1 large banana leaf (about 4 feet long)
  • 3 onions, quartered

Add additional orange juice, vinegar, garlic, and oregano to achiote paste.  Mix until well-combined.

Generously salt and pepper the pork shoulder roast.  Add to the achiote paste mixture and rub to ensure it is well-covered.  Cover and marinate for 12 to 24 hours in the refrigerator.

I swear this is the true color – the achiote is REALLY red.

When you’re ready to cook the pork, remove from the fridge and let it come to room temperature.  Preheat oven to 300F.

Place onions in the bottom of a dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid.  Run the banana leaf under hot water until it is soft and pliable – pat dry.

Wrap the pork in the banana leaf burrit0-style until it is completely covered. Place on top of the onions, and pour the marinade over the top.

Cover and cook until the pork is fork-tender, about 3 to 3.5 hours.

Shred pork with some of the cooking liquid and serve with some pickled red onions, corn tortillas, and salsa.

We also had some jicama and carrot slaw with a chipotle orange dressing.  The pork really does take that long – but it’s soooooo worth it.

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2 Responses to “Cochinita pibil”

  1. […] Naomi’s addiction to said enchilada was the inspiration for these pierogis.  We were making cochinita pibil and needed a side so I thought I would go for […]

  2. […] Pork.  Now we have pulled pork for sandwiches, bulk Italian sausage, and tomorrow we’ll have cochinita pibil for tacos.  For a long, long […]

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