Although Cochinita Pibil is from the Yucatan Peninsula, it is eaten and loved all throughout Mexico. Sophia's aunt Lupita guides us through this delicious recipe. The achiote paste is loosened up with vinegar and grapefruit juice, which stains the pork a beautiful deep red color and gives it an incredible flavor. We use the marinade for a nice pork shoulder, which we roast slowly for a few hours.
1 pork shoulder or pork butt, bone out (about 2-1/2 lbs)
6 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon ground oregano
1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon fines herbes
1 tablespoon chicken broth powder or 1 bouillon cube
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white or apple cider vinegar
1 grapefruit, juiced
1/2 packet achiote
2 cans of red chiles and green chile rajas (optional)
Blend together the garlic, oregano, black peppercorns, fines herbes, bouillon, olive oil, vinegar, grapefruit juice, and achiote together in a blender until perfectly smooth.
Place the pork butt in a non-reactive container and pour over the marinade. Let sit 8-24 hours, turning over halfway through.
Toast the plantain leaves over a low flame in order to soften them and make them pliable.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line the bottom of a large roasting pan with one of the plantain leaves, place the pork on top, pour over the marinade, and then wrap with the rest of the leaves. Roast for about 3 hours, or until the meat is cooked through and tender. Be sure to check the temperature of your oven, lowering it if necessary. Also marinade the pork with the juices often. You can carve the pork butt and then lay the slices in the sauce to serve.
Garnish with the Red Onion and Habanero Salad.
1 handful radishes
2 red onions, peeled
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup lime juice (acidity depends on the limes)
1/2 tablespoon ground Mexican oregano
1 habanero chile
Thinly slice the radishes, red onions, and chile and toss together in a bowl. Mix together the vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, and oregano, and pour over the radish mixture.
Let marinate for about 1/2 hour before serving.
The Kitchen Caravan is a blog and cooking show devoted to creating healthy food using fresh, seasonal ingredients. Reprinted with permission.
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