One of the most memorable meals during our trip to the Yucatan region in Mexico a couple of years ago was Cochinita Pibil. Its a traditional dish from that region and is a must eat when visiting that part of Mexico. I don’t have a picture of it from our trip but what you can see in the pic blow (right) is a close cousin of it made with chicken
Here’s what you need:
- 4 lbs pork shoulder (Boston pork butt) cut into cubes
- 1 lb of banana leaves
- Aluminum foil
- 3 tablespoons Annato seeds
- 1 tbls salt
- 1 tbls black peppercorns
- 4 allspice berries
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 5 cloves
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 4 seeded Habanero peppers (use less if heat tolerance is lower)
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/4 cup Tequila
- Onions in Vinegar
Start by grinding all the dry ingredients using a coffee grinder.
Crush the garlic & Habanero peppers and mix with the ground spice mixture, lemon juice, orange juice & tequila in a bowl.
Cut the pork shoulder into cubes, put in a ziploc bag and pour in the marinade
Burn a wood-fire. Alternatively, preheat an oven or grill to 400 degrees. I used a wood-fire as we were out camping when we made this
Wrap the marinated pork with an inner layer of banana leaves and an outer layer of aluminum foil. Unfortunately when I made it this time, I didn’t have banana leaves so the pictures don’t show it but I could definitely tell a difference in taste when I did use them.
When the fire is mostly out and there’s just burning wood coal left, place the wrapped pork on the coal for 2 hours. If in the oven, then 1:15-1:30 should be plenty.
Unwrap the pork when its time and check for done-ness. The pork should shred with a firm press using a fork.
If not done, throw it back into the fire for a little longer. Otherwise shred and top with onions soaked in vinegar. Goes great with corn tortillas and Micheladas.