I know everybody has its own cochinita pibil recipe and everybody claims that theirs is the best! Well, I’m not going to say that mine is the best ever, but it is good! We have done cochinita pibil this way in my family since forever, it is not the traditional way, but it works for us and it never fails to impress our guests.
Cochinita pibil or Pork Pibil is a dish from the Yucatan peninsula of Mayan origins. Traditionally the pork meat is marinated in annatto paste or achiote, orange juice, vinegar and spices, wrapped in banana leaves and cooked in a pit for a few hours, that is where the name pibil comes from, because the word “pibil” in Mayan means “underground”.
It is a simple recipe, but it takes a lot of time to get it right, the meat needs to marinate for 2 hours minimum or preferably over night and then it needs to be cook for around 2 hours at least, depending on the amount of meat. When the meat is cooked, it is shredded, then garnished with pickle onion and an habanero salsa and eaten in tortillas as a taco or accompany by black refried beans.
I really hope you like this recipe, I will also tell you the way it is eaten in my family, so at the end you decide if you want to eat it the traditional way or my family’s way.
Prep 15 min plus 2 hrs marinate or over night
Cook 2 hrs
- 500 gr Pork leg cut in small chunks, remove all fat.
- 3 tbsp achiote paste or annatto.
- The juice of a bitter orange
- 2 tbsp white vinegar or lemon
- 1 small white onion or 1/2 big shredded
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pinch oregano
- 1 cup water or more if needed
- Red pickled onion
- Habanero salsa
In a blender put the achiote paste, Orange juice, vinegar or lemon and oregano to blend until the achiote has dissolve.
Put the meat in a large bowl, add the garlic, onion, salt and pepper and the achiote mix and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours.
Then put the meat with all the marinate and 1 cup of water and turn the heat on to medium, when it starts boiling turn the heat down to very low. Cook for 2 hrs on the stove making sure it doesn’t dry.
Or cover the casserole dish with aluminium foil and cook it in the oven in a preheat oven to !80 degrees C for 1 hr and 30 min.
Check if it needs more seasoning. Then it is done.
How to make red pickled onion
Cut a red onion in julienne, wash through with cold water, put it in a bowl, add some salt, leave it for 10 min.
Wash it again and add the juice of a lime, a pinch of oregano and salt.
Leave it to pickled for 10 more min and done.
Have the cochinita in tacos with some warm tortillas, pickled onion and habanero salsa or have it as we eat it in my family, in tacos with some shredded lettuce and avocado slices.