Cochinita Pibil is a traditional method of cooking pork in the Yucatan of Mexico. Its marinated in citrusy achiote or annatto marinade and then cooked in banana leaves. Using our homemade flour tortillas, pickled red onions and salsa verde, we are assembling the best authentic Mexican tacos that you can make in your home kitchen.
4-5 lb Bone-In Pork Butt cut into a thick slab
3/4 Cup, Lime Juice
1/2 Cup, Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
1 1/2 cups or 2 100 gram packs, Achiote paste
1 Tablespoon, Whole Cumin, Toasted (Ground is fine)
1 Tablespoon, Whole Coriander, Toasted (Ground is fine)
1 Tablespoon, Mexican Oregano
1 Lb, Banana leaf
2 Tablespoons, White vinegar
3 Cloves of Garlic
1 Cup of Water
Banana Leaves: https://amzn.to/2Dc4M7U
Achiote Paste: https://amzn.to/2DaWTQh
Start by marinating and salting the pork. If your pork came with the skin still on, I’d recommend removing that as it will only get in the way from the marinade penetrating the meat. Then salt the pork liberally on all sides. Set that aside while you prepare the achiote marinade.
In a blender, add the orange juice, lime juice, achiote paste, toasted cumin and coriander (or ground versions of both), the garlic, Mexican oregano (which I forgot in my video) and white vinegar. Blend that into a thick sauce. It should smell vibrant. Then pour that marinade over the pork, cover it, and refrigerate for 4-24 hours. *You do not have to marinate this if you don’t have the time, however, it is very much suggested. It does make a big difference in my opinion.
The following day, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a big roasting pan with high sides, start to layer the banana leaves. They are a bit brittle. A method for making them more playable is by letting them sit on an open flame. That breaks them down a little bit more so it’s easier to wrap around the pork (I didn’t do it in the video and it made it more difficult to wrap). When you have a base layer down, add the pork top with all the marinade. Then begin to wrap the pork in the banana leaves. Add a few more on top to seal everything in well. Then add 1 cup of water on top of the banana leaves and wrap tightly in foil. Toss that in the oven for 4-5 hours, or until that bone will slide out without any resistance.
While that cooks, you have enough time to make the salsa verde and the tortillas. Hopefully, you have red onions already made but if you don’t, you could make them quickly, they just won’t be as pickled.
When the pork is cooked and the bone pulls out, take it out of the oven and let it cool before handling. Once cooled, discard the banana leaves. Then shred the meat, picking through any gross fat or connective tissue. Once shredded, mix it all together, getting all the different muscles of the pork to mix together and to coat and start to absorb that cooking liquid. Now you’re ready to serve tacos. Heat up your tortillas, then add the meat, salsa verde, pickled onions, and cilantro leaves. You just made an authentic taco start to finish, from scratch. Your work will be rewarded with some of the best tacos of your life.
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