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Cochinita Pibil

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IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: When preparing this dish you must have a shot of the same tequila you are using. It’s a tradition I’ve stuck to for good luck on a perfect outcome. Anyone else who’s helping out in the kitchen are to participate too!

I teased the hell out of you guys this weekend with pictures in the making of this Yucatan dish. After several hours of leaving you in anticipation, I started to feel bad. So I wanted to waste no time and try to get this recipe up as soon as possible. If you do a little planning ahead this is a very easy, no hassle dish.

It’s important to take note that you get a spice/coffee grinder that you can keep in the kitchen just for spices only. Because if you grind your coffee beans in this, it’s gonna taste… interesting! Also make sure you have a blender or food processor that does a decent job at pulverizing stuff.

You should be able to locate a Mexican/Latino market around most places throughout the U.S. for banana leaves. Typically they’ll be packaged in a freezer. Places like Southern California may carry them fresh in the produce section. But save yourself any potential trouble and just call to ask if they carry it first, if you have to make a decent drive. If you can’t find banana leaves, not to worry just skip that step but at least cover the top with aluminum foil as the instructions say below.

The spices should be easy to find at any grocery store. If you’re somewhere without much selection then you can order off Amazon.com for great deals. It’s the best I’ve seen so far!

Last but definitely not least! Serve this with your favorite rice and beans. You can make tacos out of the Cochinita Pibil. And sometimes I love making my Traditional Mango Salsa for that marry of sweet and salty.

HERE ARE SOME PREP PICTURES TO HELP YOU THROUGH THE WAY:

 This is how your spices should look before grinding them.

The result of fresh made Achiote Paste.

All the ingredients in the blender. This is what tenderizes the meat and infuses incredible flavor.

What everything should look like before you wrap it up and put it in the oven!

INGREDIENTS

IMPORTANT KITCHEN TOOLS YOU WILL NEED
Spice/coffee grinder (one you can keep only for spices)
Blender or Food Processor

5 lbs boneless pork butt, cut in 2″ cubes
1 lb banana leaves (1 package)
5 tablespoons annato seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
8 whole allspice berries
2 habanero peppers, stem & seeds removed
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup white vinegar
8 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons kosher salt
5 lemons, juiced
2 shots tequila (good tequila, one you’d drink)

Cut the pork into 2 inch cubes with a large, sharp knife and place into a big zip lock bag. Set aside in a large bowl.

Grind up the annato seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, whole cloves and allspice berries in the spice grinder until fine.

In a blender pulverize the habanero peppers, orange juice, white vinegar, garlic cloves and salt until smooth. Add the fresh ground spices into the blender with the lemon juice and tequila. Run the blender on high for about 5 seconds.

Pour the marinade into the plastic bag of pork butt. Seal it, place it in the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours.

Preheat the oven at 325 F degrees.

Line a large baking dish about 9″ x 13″ with banana leaves covering the bottom of the baking dish and enough hanging off all sides by several inches. Pour the pork along with the marinade into the baking dish and fold the flaps of banana leaves over the top to seal tight. Make sure every thing is covered well. Then seal the entire top firmly with aluminum foil.

Slow roast on the middle rack of your oven for 4 hours.