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Cochinita Pibil – Yucatán Slow Roasted Pork

Cochinita Pibil – Yucatán Slow Roasted Pork

Cochinita Pibil - Casa Bond NoHo

Cochinita Pibil is a traditional Yucatan slow-roasted pork dish that is marinated in citrus juices and achiote paste, giving it a gorgeous golden hue and fall apart tenderness.

This recipe hails from Executive Chef-Owner Rodrigo Abrajan at Casa Bond Noho. The stylish restaurant is dishing refined Mexican cuisine on the Bowery in New York, and Chef Rodrigo offers a variety of dishes, including Cochinita Pibil.

What is Cochinita Pibil?

Cochinita Pibil is a traditional dish from the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. It is a slow-roasted pork dish that is marinated in citrus juices and achiote paste, which gives it a distinct orange color. The dish is typically served with pickled onions and tortillas. It has a long history in Mayan cuisine and continues to be a popular dish in the region and beyond.

What is the traditional way to make Cochinita Pibil?

In Yucatan, there is a traditional way of making Cochinita Pibil which involves burying a pig in a pit called a pib. The pit is filled with hot stones and live wood and the pig is cooked slowly for many hours until it becomes tender. Before burying the pig in the pit, it is rubbed with a mixture of achiote, garlic, spices, and bitter orange juice which creates a bright red paste. The pig is then wrapped in banana leaves and left to cook slowly for hours. Once cooked, the meat is so tender that it can easily be pulled apart. It is served in its own juices with hot tortillas and pickled onions.

Executive Chef-Owner Rodrigo Abrajan’s simpler version for home cooks involves baking a small piece of pork in the pressure cooker or baked in an oven for a few hours. 

What is the best part of the pork to use for Cochinita Pibil ? 

The best part of the pork to use for Cochinita Pibil is the pork shoulder. This cut of meat has enough fat to keep it moist and tender during the long cooking process, making it perfect for slow-roasting and shredding. Additionally, the pork shoulder is a relatively affordable cut of meat, making this traditional Mexican dish accessible to a wide range of people.

Cochinita Pibil is a versatile dish that can be used in many different ways. Here are some serving suggestions:

1. Tacos: Cochinita Pibil is a popular filling for tacos. Simply heat up some corn tortillas, add the shredded pork, and top with pickled onions and cilantro for a delicious and authentic Mexican taco. 

2. Sandwiches: Cochinita Pibil can also be used as a filling for sandwiches. Try pairing it with avocado, tomato, and a spicy mayo for a tasty sandwich. 

See Also

3. Rice and beans: Cochinita Pibil can be served over a bed of rice and beans for a hearty and filling meal. 

4. Quesadillas: Use Cochinita Pibil as a filling for quesadillas along with some Oaxaca cheese and serve with guacamole and salsa. 

5. Nachos: Top a bed of tortilla chips with Cochinita Pibil, cheese, and jalapeños for a delicious and easy appetizer. 

6. Enchiladas: Use Cochinita Pibil as a filling for enchiladas along with some cheese and serve with salsa and sour cream on top. These are just a few of the many ways you can use Cochinita Pibil to create delicious and authentic Mexican dishes.

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Cochinita Pibil - Casa Bond NoHo

Cochinita Pibil – Yucatán Slow Roasted Pork


  • Author: Executive Chef-Owner Rodrigo Abrajan at Casa Bond
  • Total Time: 5 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 - 6 1x

Description

Cochinita Pibil is a traditional Mexican dish that originates from the Yucatán Peninsula. This dish is made by marinating pork in acidic citrus juice, adding annatto seed to give it a burnt orange color, and then roasting the meat while it’s wrapped in banana leaf.


Ingredients

Scale

12 large banana leafs

1 pork shoulder

Adobo prep:

1 stick of Achiote paste

1 1/2 cup of bitter orange juice

1 teaspoon of black pepper

1 teaspoon of oregano

1 dash of ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon of cloves

2 dehydrated Guajillo chiles, seeds and stem removed

6 garlic cloves

1/2 a medium onion

Pickled red onions:

2 Habanero chiles cut into Julienne strips

1 red onion cut into Julienne strips

1 teaspoon of oregano

1/4 cup of apple vinegar

1/4 cup of bitter orange juice

1/4 cup of lime juice

Salt to taste


Instructions

Instructions

  1. Pass fresh banana leafs over a flame to loosen, making it easy to line a baking dish or tray with the leafs.

Adobo Mix:

  1. In a blender, mix the Achiote paste with the Guajillo chile, black pepper, oregano, cumin, cloves, garlic, onion, orange juice, and salt until fully integrated. Set aside.

Meat Preparation Baked in the Oven

  1. Preheat the oven to 340°F 
  2. Place the meat on top of the banana leaf lined in the baking dish. 
  3. Pour half the adobo marinade over meat and rub it in with your hands. Cover the dish and let it rest overnight.
  4. Season the meat with the remaining mix the next day and wrap with the banana leaf.
  5. Place the meat in a baking dish and let it cook in the banana leaves for 3.5 hours.

Meat Preparation Pressure Cooker 

  1. Place the meat on top of the banana leaf lined in the baking dish. 
  2. Pour half the adobo marinade over meat and rub it in with your hands. Cover the dish and let it rest overnight.
  3. Season the meat with the remaining mix the next day and wrap with the banana leaf.
  4. Transfer the meat and sauce into pressure cooker. Place the lid on the instant pot and seal the lid. Choose the meat setting and set the time for 60 minutes.
  5. When the timer is finished, do a rapid release. 

Pickled Red Onions (for garnishing the dish):

  1. Blanch the onions for 5 minutes in boiling water.
  2. Let it cool and add the bitter orange juice, lime juice, chiles, oregano and salt. Let it rest.

Assembly:

  1. Once the meat is cooked, use two forks to shred the pork into bite-sized pieces. Give it a good toss with the remaining juices.
  2. Then serve the pork while warm, garnished with pickled onions. You may either enjoy it as taco or sandwich meat, or over rice and beans.
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 300 mins
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Slow Cooking
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Cochinita Pibil, Pork, Mexican Cuisine, Yucatán Style Stew, Yucatán Style Barbecue, Mexican bbq, mexican pork, spicy pork, fall apart pork

View Comment (1)
  • While Cochinita Pibil showcases the rich flavors of Yucatan cuisine, incorporating Argentine asado techniques can elevate this dish to new heights. The slow-roasting method synonymous with Argentine asado could intensify the pork’s tenderness and flavor, merging traditional Mexican recipes with the deep, smoky essence of Argentinian BBQ. Imagine the fusion of citrus and achiote with the rustic charm of asado – a culinary adventure worth exploring!

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