If you've been looking for an authentic Mexican Cochinita Pibil recipe, look no further, down to the achiote and the onions, this is as authentic as it gets. Cochinita Pibil (koh-chee-nee-tah pee-bill) is essentially Shredded Pork Tacos, and it is a traditional holiday and party food here in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.
Our Mexican holiday cooking series wouldn't be complete without this recipe, because it's so easy to make, pretty economical for feeding a crowd, and tacos are finger foods, you don't even HAVE to provide silverware!
- 3 lbs. pork (leg or loin)
- salt, pepper, garlic to taste
- 6 oz. annatto paste (see recipe below or use Achiote seasoning)
- 2 cups sour orange juice (peel before squeezing)
- 2 banana leaves (can be found at your local plant nursery, hopefully)
- Oregano leaves
- 1 lb. refied black beans
- 1 lb. red ionion for chochinita (see recipe below)
- 2 lbs. corn tortillas
Cut the pork into pieces. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic, and place in large pan or pot like this roasting pan.
Dissolve the annatto paste (or Achiote) in sour orange juice and add to pork. Marinade the meat 1 hour minimum or overnight in the refrigerator. The longer the better.
Place clean banana leaves in bottom of roasting pan; add meat and oregano leaves and cover with remaining banana leaves (the banana leaves really give the meat a unique flavor). Cover tightly or seal with aluminum foil. Bake at 300ºC for about 1 hour.
Shred meat (barbecue style) and place in corn tortillas. Serve immediately with refried black beans on the side, and red onions to add to their tacos if desired.
Makes 6-8 servings.
Annatto Paste (Achiote)
- 4 Tbsp. annatto seeds
- 1 tsp. crushed oregano leaves
- 1 tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- 12 peppercorns
- 10 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 4 cloves
- Salt to taste
- Mild white vinegar or sour orange juice to taste
Grind dry ingredients well together and gradually add vinegar or orange juice to form a thick paste.
Pickled Red Onions for Cochinita
- 2 medium sized red onions
- 3 sour oranges
- salt to taste
- Habanero pepper (optional)
Finely chop the onions, blanch in boiling water to remove the strong flavor and rinse in cold water. Pickle the onions in the sour orange juice and salt. Add finely chopped habanero pepper if desired.
*Habanero peppers are native to the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. Note: it is advised to handle them with gloves on!