Cochinita pibili is a popular recipe within the Mayan culture and becoming more popular internationally. IF you live north of the border, Cochinta Pibil is called Pulled Pork, a popular dish that chefs are adapting and using in their dinner menus. What many diners don’t know is that pulled pork is from the Mayan culture!
Impress your guests with the traditional Mayan recipe that is easy to make!
The cool thing about Mayan cooking is that it is easy. Most Mayan families cook over a wood fire and do not have our groovy kitchen appliances. There is little clean up, most of the cooking is slow cooking (in the North American sense) and it is this slow cooking process that makes the meals so delicious. If you are looking for a cook now recipe this is not it. But if you want to put some ingredients together, and then forget about the cooking process for a whole bunch of hours, this is the recipe for you.
Cochinita Pibil the Mayan Way!
Achiote paste (found in the international section of your grocery store or an international market)
Banana Leaves (or parchment paper or aluminum foil)
In a bowl mix the achiote paste, lemon juice, orange juice, sliced onion (strips not diced) and tomatoes (cut into quarters). Stir with your hands so that the achiote paste is completely combined with the ingredients. Place the whole pork loin in the bowl and cover the pork with the mixture. In a baking dish, line the bottom and sides of the dish with either the banana leaves, parchment paper or aluminum foil making sure you have access to cover the top of your pork and sauce. Put the pork and all of the sauce into the baking dish and cover tighly so that air or steam can not escape. It is the steam that cooks the meat so seal it well. Place it in the oven at 275 F for 5 to 8 hours. The longer you slow cook it the better the flavor! If you want to use your BBQ put the heat on low, place the dish in the BBQ and close the lid.
2 red onions
3/4 cup orange juice
2 tbsp white vinegar
This is the best compliment to your pulled pork. Dice the onions (make sure they are red onions), put them in a bowl, add the vinegar to the onions, combine and then add the orange juice and mix. Cover the bowl and let the onions sit over night to marinate. If you like spicey add some jalapeno or serrano chiles. The marinating process is important so make this in advance.
Serving your Cochinita Pibil
Once your cochinta pibil is done, carefully open the paper or banana leaves and take the pork out, putting it on a plate. Let it rest for 15 minutes and then start pulling. The pork will melt in your hands, so the pulling process is easy. To serve you can either put the pork in a bowl and let people serve the pork onto tortillas, or you can create your tacos on the plate, garnishing the pork with your onions. How you serve is up to you. The best way to serve cochinita pibil is as a taco. Use whole wheat or corn tortillas. If you are serving up a lunch, the Cochinta Pibil can be put into a bun with the onion salsa as an additional part of the sandwich.
Now that was easy! and when you taste it delicious. This is a great recipe for an outdoor summer party, a dinner with friends once you return from your vacation or a dinner you cook on the weekend that can be served during the week!
The taste will bring you back to Tulum, the beaches of Tulum and the small taco places that I am sure you tried while you were on your Tulum vacation.