Cochinita Pibil a Yucatan Delight!

Updated: Feb 5, 2019

Cochinita pibil (also named puerco pibil or cochinita con achiote) is a traditional Mexican slow-roasted pork dish wrapped in banana leaves from the Yucatan Peninsula.

True cochinita pibil involves roasting a whole suckling pig, marinated, wrapped in banana leaf and buried in a pit with a fire at the bottom to roast it.

But luckily there is a home recipe that is awesome, so there is no need to dig a hole in your kitchen floor!

Ingredients for 7 to 8 persons.

2.5kg pork with bones, (shoulder, but, rib, shank or other parts), 2 pork trotters, 4 to 5 banana leaves, 200gr achiote paste (annatto seed paste), 1 cinnamon stick , 3 bay leaves, 2 Pasilla chillies, 1 mulato chilli, 3 bay rum leaves (pimenta racemosa) , 2 sour oranges or 2 oranges and 3 limes, 1 ½ tbsp, allspice berries, ½ tbsp black peppercorns, 10 cloves, 8 garlic cloves, 1 tbsp epazote, 1 ½ tbsp of oregano (Mexican is the best), 2 tbsp course sea salt, 2 tbsp of muscovado sugar (unrefined cane sugar). And as much corn tacos you can eat!

Garnish:

2 or 3 big red onions, 2 or 3 habanero chillies, 3 to 4 limes, a pinch of salt

To start where going to seed the mulato and pasilla chillies and soak them in cold water (1 ½ an hour), don’t poor too much water on them.

Take the banana leaves and pas them over an open fire to make them supple to handle.

Just a quick warming up until the leaves shines.

Now you got a choice to make for the marinade; the mortar or the blender?

The mortar and pestles are the best options, but you know: I’m a bit lazy today and go for the blender.

Here is what you’re going to add in the blender: 200gr achiote paste (annatto seed paste), 1 cinnamon stick , 3 bay leaves, 2 Pasilla chillies, 1 mulato chilli, 3 bay rum leaves (pimenta racemosa) , 2 sour oranges or 2 oranges and 3 limes, 1 ½ tbsp, allspice berries, ½ tbsp black peppercorns, 10 cloves, 8 garlic cloves, 1 tbsp epazote, 1 ½ tbsp of oregano (Mexican is the best), 2 tbsp course sea salt, 2 tbsp of muscovado sugar (unrefined cane sugar) and at last the pasilla chillies with the water.

Blend this all to a creamy marinade, a few minutes will do.

Clean the meats under cold running water and dry them with some paper towels.

Take an oven plate and cover with the banana leaves, place the meats top and rub them all with the marinade (both sides).

Poor the rest of the marinade over the meat and close up with the rest of the leaves.

Seal the top with aluminium foil to keep the moist inside and place the plate in the middle of your oven.

Put the heat on 170°C and let the Cochinita cook for 6 hours.

Cut the onions in slices and chop the habanero chillies; add to a bowl with the pressed lime juice and preserve in the refrigerator.

After 6 hours take the aluminium foil and top banana leaves of the plate and pull the pork in to little bits while mixing with the juices (discard the bones).

Now you’re ready to fill and eat as many tacos you can manage, by the way; don’t forget the lime marinated onions; they give a great punch to the Cochinita.

Bon Appetite my gourmet friends!


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© 2018 Wessel Woortman

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