Cochinita Pibil (Puerco Pibil)

Cochinita Pibil (Puerco Pibil)

I recently had the pleasure of attending a Mexican Gastronomy event put on by the Minister of tourism of Mexico at the Royal Ontario Museum where we got a sneak peak at the Maya: Secrets of their Ancient World exhibit. While there I enjoyed some really tasty Mexican cuisine including pollo pibil, chicken marinated in a red paste made with annatto seeds. Having the pollo pibil that night reminded me that I had been wanting to try making cochinita pibil, or puerco pibil , for a while now and it was the perfect inspiration to get to it. Cochinita pibil is a dish where pork is marinated in a mixture of annatto seeds and sour orange juice and it is then slowly baked, wrapped in banana leaves, until it is nice and tender. Traditionally cochinita pibil uses a whole pig and it is baked underground but with some quick modifications to the recipe you can easily make it at home in your oven.

Although cochinita pibil might sound a little intimidating, this recipe is actually pretty easy to make! You should be able to find the annatto seeds at a local Latin grocery store where you can also find premade annatto marinades along with the banana leaves. If you cannot get a hold of the seville oranges or other sour oranges you can replace them with a mixture of regular orange juice and lime juice. Aluminum foil works as a more convenient replacement for the banana leaves if you have trouble tracking them down as well. Once you have all of the ingredients, the cochinita pibil is as easy to make as marinating the pork and then baking it in your oven.

One of the things that I like so much about dishes like cochinita pibil is that once you have made it you are really just at the beginning! The cochinita pibil is amazing all by itself but you can use it as an ingredients to make many different things like taocs, tostadas, sandwiches, etc. Really the sky is the limit and I can't wait to experiment with the cochinita pibil!

Cochinita Pibil (Puerco Pibil)

Cochinita Pibil (Puerco Pibil)

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 4 hours Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes Servings: 4

A tasty slow roasted pork marinated in sour oranges and red annatto seeds.

  • 2 tablespoons annatto or achiote seeds
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 clove
  • 2 allspice berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 cup seville orange juice or 1/2 cup lime juice and 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 3 pound pork butt
  • banana leaves or foil
  1. Grind the annatto seeds, oregano, peppercorns, cumin, clove, allspice and cinnamon in a grinder until powdered.
  2. Blend the ground mixture along with the salt, garlic and orange juice in a blender. (If possible let sit overnight and blend again.)
  3. Cut the pork into 1 inch cubes and marinate in the mixture, covered, in the fridge for several hours to overnight.
  4. Wrap the pork along with the marinade in banana leaves or foil and place it in a large baking dish.
  5. Bake in a preheated 325F/170C oven until falling apart tender, about 3-4 hours.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Mouthwatering! Perfect with tortillas and fresh coriander.



dav said...

Tasty isn't it? I've done Robert Rodriguez' recipe a few times, but I'm intrigued by your inclusion of cinnamon.

Debs @ DKC said...

So it's basically a pulled pork recipe I guess. Would love to try this with tacos, thanks.

Scott Jones said...

Are the allspice berries supposed to be ground with the rest of the spices? You left them out of the recipe.

Dining Alone said...

This really does not look that difficult, I will give it a try.

Monica @ Soirees & Such said...

Cochinita Pibil is one of my favorite dishes!! thanks!!

Amy C. said...

This looks fabulous! This may be a stupid question but where does one get sour oranges? I seem to only see navel oranges in my market which is usually pretty well stocked. Or is there a good substitution if there not available?

Anonymous said...

One of the first things I ever learned to cook. Puerco Pibil is amazing. Achiote in general is a great spice to work with.

Ryan Velilla

Kevin said...

Amy C.: Regular grocery stores around here do not usually carry them so I need to head to a local Latin grocery store or a place that specializes in importing fresh produce. Otherwise you can use a combo of orange juice and lime juice as noted in the recipe.

K.M. said...

Love the tip about where to find the annatto seeds! I had given up trying to find actual achiote paste.

Kevin said...

Scott Jones: Yes the allspice is ground with the rest of the spices. I have updated the recipe. Thanks for catching that!

Chris said...

This one has been on my list to try for quite some time. Similar to pulled pork but spicier -- how could I not like it?

Anonymous said...

I know it is 2014, but we made this as the taco special in our restaurant and it sold out!

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