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Cochinita pibil (Mexican pulled pork) recipe

Cochinita pibil (Mexican pulled pork) recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Pork
  • Cuts of pork
  • Pork shoulder

Pork shoulder cooked in orange juice, guajillo chillies and achiote paste, cooked in a pressure cooker or slow cooker. Serve with corn tortillas.

2 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • For the sauce
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 habanero chillies - stemmed, seeded and sliced (or to taste)
  • 10 limes
  • salt to taste
  • For the pork
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1.5kg boneless pork shoulder, cut into 3cm cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 100 g dried guajillo chillies, stemmed and seeded
  • 750ml fresh orange juice
  • 250ml white vinegar
  • 1 head garlic, peeled
  • 50g achiote paste

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:1hr5min ›Ready in:1hr25min

  1. Combine the onion, habanero peppers, lime juice and salt in a bowl; cover and refrigerate while preparing and cooking the pork. Tip: Use rubber gloves when preparing the habanero peppers and avoid touching your eyes, nose or skin while slicing peppers.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Season pork with salt and pepper; cook in the hot oil until completely browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the pork to a pressure cooker.
  3. Combine the guajillo chillies, orange juice, vinegar, garlic, and achiote paste in a blender; blend until smooth. Pour the sauce over the pork cubes in the pressure cooker.
  4. Seal and lock pressure cooker, and cook over high heat to build pressure until the indicator sounds. Turn heat down to medium, and cook for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the pressure reduce naturally. Remove the lid, transfer pork to a serving dish and shred with 2 forks. Pour the juices over the shredded pork.
  5. To serve, top with the habanero sauce.

Slow cooker version

This recipe can also be made in the slow cooker, cooking 6 to 8 hours on High, until the pork easily falls apart. Simply add the pork to the slow cooker after browning in the frying pan, along with the guajillo chilli mixture. No additional liquid needed.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(22)

Reviews in English (1)

by Patricia

I've made this many times now. I 've cook the meat in the slow cooker. I don't use the lemon juice listed and a VERY small amout of the habanero chile for the onion topping. I also just use one 3.9 oz package of achiote paste. Turns out great...very authentic. Super easy!!-11 Jan 2017

Cochinita Pibil: Mayan-Style Slow-Cooked Pork

T he cuisine of Yucatan, Mexico, sometimes comes under fire from the uninitiated for being too subtle in flavor, too basic, and ultimately, not “Mexican” enough. And while it can sometimes lack the pizazz (“Pizazz?” What am I, 60?) of the infant-sized burritos wrapped in a bedsheet of a tortilla, as you might find in the Northern region of the country, the pared-down, quality ingredients used in Yucatecan cooking often stand just fine on their own. And of course, it doesn’t hurt that Yucatecans like to sprinkle habanero on almost everything, which brings the fire to more subtly seasoned-slow cooked meats.

This dish represents my favorite combination of the flavors of Yucatan working in perfect harmony: The saltiness of the achiote, the sweetness of the pickled onions, and the burning heat of the habanero.

Cochinita Pibil, or literally, “Baby pit pig,” is one of our favorite examples of cooking from this part of Mexico. Cochinita can be found being sold from a cart in almost every small town on the weekends, either in tacos or in tortas, or sandwiches, and topped with pickled red onions and diced habanero.

For our version, we are going to assume a few things. First, that you don’t have access to Sour Oranges, the main component in the pork’s marinade. We are going to assume, though, that you have access to either a Mexican grocery store, or even a mainstream grocery store with a healthy import section. Though our recipe for Cochinita Pibil doesn’t contain any truly crazy ingredients, you may have to poke around your favorite grocery store for a little while. Finally, we are going to assume that you don’t want to dig a hole in your backyard for roasting a whole pig, and will be tackling this dish from the comfort of your kitchen.

Cochinita Pibil – Yucatán-Style Smoked and Shredded Pork Tacos

Traditional Yucatán-style shredded pork tacos (Cochinita Pibil) are a staple of the Yucatán. At the same time, this recipe is not totally authentic since I don’t have access to the preferred hairless Mexican pork (cerdo pelón) or the Yucatán smoking woods Catzin, Habin, or Kitinche. The pork is traditionally marinated in a mixture of ground annatto seeds, sour orange (Badia Naranja Agria, Chef Merito, or La Lechonera or Seville orange), lime, and other seasonings overnight. After marinating the pork and the marinade is wrapped in banana leaves and placed into a container with a lid. The container is then out into an underground bbq pit over wood coals and buried. The result, of all this care, is a treasure of Yucatán. An exquisite taco that is a marvel of Mexico layered with rich flavors and tendered beyond description. Traditionally served with thinly sliced pickled red onion and simple habanero salsa.

How To Make Cochinita Pibil At Home

I’m adding the pre-marinated pork shoulder to a smoker for 3 hours at (250°F or 120°C) to compensate for the pit smoking. (SAVE the marinade! The marinade becomes the sauce in the end. The recipe requires the marinade in the following step.) This really bumps up the flavor profile that I think many other versions of this recipe are missing. I used cherry wood when I worked out this recipe, but any mild smoking fruitwood or Texas Post Oak will work great.

Another key ingredient is sour oranges(Naranja Agria/Seville) and annatto seeds. Do not use regular orange juice. Regular orange juice is too sweet and will throw off the flavor. If you can’t find annatto seeds, use a store-bought paste such as El Yucateco, El Mexicano, or La Perla del Mayab.

The third key ingredient is banana leaves. Banana leaves are available in any well-stocked Latin or Asian market. As always, there are links throughout this post or on the Shop Ingredients page.

Last Words

The process may seem daunting to some. Remember all we are doing:

  1. Make the marinade and marinate the pork for 24hrs.
  2. Smoke the marinated pork for 3 hours and then wrap the pork in banana leaves and roast in the oven for 3 hours more.
  3. Make the habanero salsa, and pickle some red onions.
  4. Eat the Cochinita Pibil and invite some friends, be a hero!

Cochinita Pibil tacos. Yes, please, and keep them coming…

For the best result, pick a pork shoulder with the bone in.

Clean off any packing juices with paper towels and place in a 1-gallon ziplock bag. Refrigerate and reserve.

Measure out the dry ingredients for the marinade.

Place the dry ingredients in a blender.

These look like lemons, but in fact, they are fresh, sour oranges. If you are lucky enough to have a Latin store near you, they most likely carry them. For my European/Aussie/New Zealand friends, look for Seville oranges. If they are not available fresh, you can purchase the juice or substitute it with a mix of grapefruit, lemon, and orange juice.

To yield the amount I needed, it took 6 sour oranges.

I prefer to use Mexican limes when I can. During this photoshoot, Mexican limes were not available due to Covid. Mexican limes taste very similar to Key limes from Florida. Key lime juice makes a terrific substitute.

Place all the juices into the blender with the dry spices. Place on the lid and turn on a low to medium-low speed.

After a few seconds, the annatto seeds break down and turn the marinade into a bright orangish-red. Continue to run the blender for a couple of minutes until the solids in the marinade are thoroughly broken down.

Pour the marinade into the bag with the pork shoulder. Carefully wrap up the pork shoulder while sealing the ziplock. Try to get most of the air out of the bag.

Place the pork shoulder in marinade into a refrigerator overnight or for up to 24 hours.

After the marinating process is complete, remove the pork shoulder from the marinating liquid. However, save the marinade!

Place the marinade in a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate.

Place the marinated pork in a preheated smoker at (250°F or 120°C). During this smoke, I used cherry wood. Any good-quality fruitwood will work, or you can use Texas Post Oak. Use a mild wood to smoke for 3 hrs. (For smoking tips please see the Texas Style Brisket recipe in this blog)

This is the pork shoulder after 3 hours in the smoker at (250°F or 120°C). The smoke has reacted to the marinade and has the beginning of a BBQ bark.

You can pick up a bundle of banana leaves at your local Latin or Asian grocery stores. Wash the banana leaves thoroughly since, in most cases, they are a raw agricultural product. However, if you can’t find frozen is also available and through the Ingredients Page of this blog.

Remove the woody stems on the inside of the leaves. This will help the ability to fold the banana leaves later on.

Start lining the inside of a large pot or Dutch oven with banana leaves. Overlap the banana leaves as you need to cover the inside fully.

Leave one or two long pieces of banana leaves for wrapping around the top of the pork shoulder.

Pour in one-third of a cup of the reserved marinade.

Place the smoked pork shoulder inside the center of the banana leaves.

Pour the rest of the marinade onto the top of the pork shoulder.

Wrap the longer banana leaves over the top of the pork shoulder and tuck them in along the sides to seal the pork shoulder inside. Place a heavy lid on the pot or Dutch oven and place it inside a preheated oven—Bake at 350° for approximately 3 hours.

At the end of the cooking time in the oven, check the internal temperature of the pork shoulder with an instant-read thermometer.

This pork shoulder is perfect. Cut back the banana leaves to reveal the smoked and roasted pork shoulder.

Use a large spoon to baste the pork with its own juices. Carefully lift out and set on a sheet pan to catch any juices.

Allow the pork shoulder to cool off and rest.

Remove the rest of the banana leaves from the pot and discard. SAVE the sauce at the bottom of the pot! The pot liquor is worth its weight in gold. Save this sauce to mix back in with the shredded meat.

After the pork shoulder has rested for about 20 minutes, you can start breaking down the meat. I lightly parted the pork shoulder with my hands.

The shoulder bone pops right out without any effort. This is the sign the pork is perfectly cooked and tender.

The pork shoulder can easily be shredded using your fingers or with the aid of a couple of forks. The resulting pork and sauce can be served straight away or frozen.

Cochinita Pibil can be prepared in advance. Cochinita pibil works well frozen for up to 2 months.

To prepare the pulled pork for serving. Add the reserved sauce and a small amount of chicken or pork stock.

Add several chunks of the pulled pork. Reheat with a lid on over medium-low heat. The heat will start the cooled pork shoulder to make it easy to pull apart.

To serve Cochinita pibil, bring the temperature up to (165°F or 74°C ) briefly and then lower it to (140°-145°F or 60°- 63°C) with the aid of an instant-read thermometer.

The only two traditional condiments needed for Conchinita Pibil are Yucatan style habanero salsa and pickled red onions. Each condiment is made with sour orange juice.

Deliciousness personified. The pork shoulder melts in your mouth. The flavors are intense.

The only things you need are an appetite and a cold beer.

However, I did add some queso fresco (optional) because my wife, who was waiting for this photo op to be over, loves it.

Behold and taste a true marvel of Mexico. These are seriously delicious tacos! Just like properly prepared Texas Style brisket, they deserve your respect. Practice this preparation. It’s not that difficult, just time-consuming.

Beverage Recommendations: Dos Equis Beer Amber, Pacifico, ChupaCabra, or Bohemia beer. Tequilas: Clase Azul Reposado, Esperanto Seleccion Tequila Extra Añejo, or Don Julio 1942

Cochinita Pibil MéxiCanada


  • 3 1/2 to 5 lb pork shoulder, cut into several large cubes
  • 2 medium onions, cut into large slices
  • 1 tbsp achiote paste (if you don’t have achiote paste, you can substitute with this)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground chili pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (there’s your Canadian twist!)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil


  1. Cut the onions into large slices and line the bottom of the slow cooker with them. Cut the pork into large cubes (a 3 1/2 lb pork shoulder should be cut into about 6 large cubes/pieces) and put them on top of the onions (including the bone).
  2. To make the marinade, first bring to a simmer the orange juice. Add the achiote paste and allow it to dissolve in the orange juice. Meanwhile, mix all the other marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add the orange juice-achiote mixture and pour it over the pork and onions.
  3. Cook in a slow cooker on LOW heat for 8 hours. When it’s done, remove the pork and onions from the leftover juice and shred. Add a bit of the leftover juice and serve! I like to serve my cochinita pibil as tacos al pastor, which are pork tacos with onion, pineapple, salsa, cilantro, and lime. Adding some tomato is also great!

I served my cochinita pibil on tostadas (which are crispy corn tortillas), because we have trouble finding proper corn tortillas in our area (and the flour ones Just Won’t Do). Not as perfect as hot corn tortillas, but not bad either – and a great way to serve this to a lot of people!

Take a moment and visit all the other amazing bloggers who are participating in this slow cooker hop. You can fill your weekly menu just with this hop! Hooray for tried-and-true recipes!


For the Yucatan Red Recado, place all ingredients in blender container cover. Blend on medium speed until smooth.

For the Mexican Slow-Roasted Pork, mix juices, garlic and Yucatan Red Recado in medium bowl until well blended. Pour over pork butt in large resealable plastic bag. Rub marinade all over pork. Cover. Refrigerate overnight.

For the Pickled Red Onions, place onions in medium heatproof bowl. Add boiling water to cover. Let stand 15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Meanwhile, bring remaining ingredients to simmer in small saucepan on medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Let stand 15 minutes. Pour over onions in medium bowl. Cover. Refrigerate at least 2 to 3 hours to marinate onions. Drain before serving.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Remove pork from refrigerator. Place in large baking dish. Let stand 15 minutes.

Bake 4 hours or until pork is very tender. Shred pork using 2 forks. Mix with sauce in baking dish. Serve with pickled red onions.

Test Kitchen Tip: Don't have ground annatto on hand? Substitute 3 tablespoons McCormick® Paprika + 1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick® Ground Turmeric in place of the annatto in this recipe.

How to make Yucatan pork

While there is a lengthy process to make this recipe, the flavor is worth the extra work. A slow braise is the key to the best flavor and juiciness of the pork.

As a result, you end up with tender, melt-in-your-mouth meat.


Note: This is just a partial list of ingredients. For the full ingredient list, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  • Pork shoulder – This braised pork recipe can be made with either boneless or bone-in meat, but boneless is definitely easier to work with. It should be rectangular in shape and may also be labeled pork butt or Boston butt.
  • Chili powder – I like to use my homemade spice blend. If you’re using a blend from the store, be sure to use one that includes spices like cumin and oregano.
  • Mexican oregano – The most common oregano is the Mediterranean variety, which is a member of the mint family. Mexican oregano, however, has notes of citrus and licorice and will give you more of an authentic Mexican flavor. Either will work just fine, but the Mexican variety is preferred.
  • Achiote paste – Often sold in blocks at Mexican markets, it’s a blend of spices made from a base of ground annatto seeds. The flavor is earthy and peppery with a hint of bitterness, and it’s a staple in many Mexican dishes.
  • Banana leaves – These will need to be softened first to make them flexible enough to wrap around the meat. Do this by heating them over a gas flame or under a broiler. If you can’t find them locally, parchment paper makes a great substitute.

Instructions by cooking method

No matter which way you cook the pork shoulder, the prep work beforehand will be the same.

  1. Prep the ingredients: First, rub the meat with salt. Toast the spices and garlic, then blend with the rest of the marinade ingredients until you have a smooth puree.
  2. Wrap the pork and marinate: Add a trivet or foil ring to the bottom of whichever pot you’ll be using. Wrap the meat and marinade in the softened banana leaves and tie with a string. Then, place the pot in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
  3. Add liquid before cooking: Once marinated, take the pot out of the refrigerator and let it warm up on the counter for about 15 minutes. This is so it doesn’t shatter when heated. Next, add water around the outside of the pot so it surrounds the wrapped pork.

Bake for about 4 ½ hours at 300 degrees F. For larger cuts of meat, add up to an extra hour of cooking. The meat is done when it pulls apart easily with a fork.

Place the pot inside the slow cooker and cook on Low for 8 hours or until the meat is falling apart. Larger cuts of meat may take up to 10 hours to fully cook.

Recipe notes

  • Storage – Store any leftover braised pulled pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Or, freeze for up to 3 months. Allow the meat to thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • Reheating – Heat the pork with its juices in the microwave, or in a pan on the stove top until it warms through.

NOTE: For food safety purposes when heating leftovers, be sure that the internal temperature of the pork reaches 165 F.


While the flavors are different than a typical pulled pork recipe, the tender meat can be used in many of the same ways such as:

  • In flautas and enchiladas
  • Served over cilantro rice
  • On nachos
  • Pulled pork sandwiches
  • In stuffed green peppers


For more classic flavors, you can’t beat my Smoked Pulled Pork Barbecue recipe. Or, try one of these other spice and flavor variations:

This recipe was first published on Kevin Is Cooking in September 2013 and has been updated with new photos and a video.

Puerco Pibil—Once Upon A Time in Mexico Style

And bam, a dish so good you might just get whacked for making it.

Serving Suggestions:

This dish is very strong in flavor, and some people might want to dilute it a bit. Ideal candidates are white rice and pico de gallo. Shred the pork and mix into or serve on top of white rice and pico.


  • Annato seed (also called achiote) is often available in grocery stores in small plastic packets (Badia brand in Florida). A one ounce packet holds about 2.5 tbs, so two packets should do the trick.
  • Habanero is the hottest chile in the world, so you might want to "wimp it down a bit." Here are some tips: 1) use less habanero or even a half or quarter of one instead of blending the habanero, just slice into strips and place them whole in the ziplock bag make sure you don't get the seeds or membrane into the dish. Don't pick your nose or touch your eyes or contacts for two days after handling the inside of Habanero (or just wear gloves while cutting it).
  • It doesn't really matter what kind of Tequila you use as long as it's real Tequila. This means it should say 100% agave, and no Cuervo Gold or any other "gold" Tequila. For me a "splash" means a 1/4 cup.
  • For you Alton Brown fans, the achiote paste is technically a marinade, so it will not really tenderize or penetrate the meat. You don't need to let it soak for long periods of time, although I usually make it the night before I cook it for convenience.
  • The slow moist cooking over low heat, however, will tenderize the pork. The pork will be very tender and is easily "pulled."
  • I have also made this recipe with rib end roast instead of pork butt with excellent results. Cut the meat off the bone, but leave at least some of the bone in the mixture for added flavor.

Here is yet another reason not to see movies at the theater. In Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Robert Rodriquez' sequel to Desperado, Johnny Depp's character is just crazy about Puerco Pibil. On the DVD extra "Ten Minue Cooking School," Robert Rodriguez shows how to make Puerco Pibil. Having made the dish several times, I'd like to present this dish along with some tips and modifications.

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Cochinita pibil (Mexican pulled pork) recipe - Recipes

This traditional mexican recipe nowadays is popular partly because of the movie "Once upon a Time in Mexico", which was a big hit in 2003. This dish is part of mayan yucatecan cuisine, and incorporates an ancient cooking method from the mesoamerican era, mayan ingredients and ingredients from Spain. This recipe takes advantage of the unique taste and color from the annatto paste, combined with the citrus marinade for a delicious and different pork meal.

Recipe for Cochinita Pibil:

Ingredients for 4 guests:

* 2 banana tree leaves boiled for a few seconds, just enough to slightly soften them
* 3 lb. of cubed pork leg meat, or pork shoulder meat
* 1 pound of pork loin meat with the rib
* 1 package achiote paste (buy it at a latin products store)
achiote is a red paste made of annatto and a few more spices
* 1 cup of juice of bitter orange (this can be substituted by regular orange juice mixed with
lemon juice or as I did here, mixing orange juice with bitter orange seasoning)
* 1 teaspoon cumin spice
* 1 teaspoon of dry oregano
* 1 teaspoon of white pepper powder
* ½ teaspoon of black pepper powder
* ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder
* 4 tablespoons allspice powder
* 3 cloves of garlic, which you will press in with a garlic press
* 1/2 teaspoonful of chili piquín (or use ancho chili for less spicy recipe)
* salt to taste
* 1/2 cup pork lard.

Ingredients needed for the accompanying sauce:

* 8 white mexican radishes well washed and finely chopped (can be replaced by turnip or rutabaga)
* 1 purple onion finely chopped to small bits
* 4 cut ancho chilis finely chopped (use red serrano or fresno chilies for a stronger punch if desired)
* 1/4 cup of cut finely cut coriander leaves or one tablespoon of the coriander spice we have in regular stores
* 1 cup bitter orange juice (or a mix of orange and lemon juice) **
* 1/4 cup vinegar
* salt to taste.

1. Let's begin preparing this ancient Yucatecan recipe
Use an oven-friendly wide pan line it using the banana-tree leaves, making sure these leaves stick out enough to be able to wrap the cochinita in them.
Place the meat on the leaves.

2. Dissolve the achiote in the sour orange juice add the spices to that mixture and it is with that mixture that you will marinate the meat in. Pour the orange/achiote mixture in that pan marinate everything in the refrigerator for more or less eight hours more, if possible.

3. Preheat the oven to 275 °F Melt two tablespoons butter,
pour the melted butter in the pan, wrap tightly the mixture with the banana-tree leaves, cover the pan with aluminum foil or its lid and we will bake it nice and slow in the preheated oven, at 275 ºF for 4-5 hours. Once cooked, coarsely shred the meat with two forks.

4. The accompanying sauce: Mix all the ingredients mentioned above regarding the sauce, blend using a food processor, and allow everything to marinate for about three hours.

You can use the banana-tree leaves for decorating each plate as you are serving them to create a nice exotic touch, put the meat on top pour the sauce over the meat and serve with freshly-made tortillas, to complete this excellent Mayan mexican recipe.

** For those living outside South America or Spain: As a substitue for the bitter orange, combine the lemon juice or grapefruit juce with regular orange juice, about half-half. This mix will turn out similar enough to the real thing. I have recently discovered a citrus Adobo powder that helps here, too. Regarding the banana leaves, your chances are very good to find them at the closest Latin supermarket if not, often the Philipino markets have them too.

Smoking and Finishing

There are two ways you can go about this—three, if you count digging a pit and setting it on fire. The first method is on the stovetop. It's not particularly difficult it's just a little finicky (and, no matter how hard you try, your house will smell like smoke). To do it, I use a wok that I line on the inside with heavy-duty aluminum foil. I place a wire rack on top of that to hold the meat, then put some wood chips in the base of the foil. I then heat up the wok on a hot burner until the wood chips start smoldering, before placing the lid on top and folding up the foil to seal in the smoke and moisture. (You can see some pictures here—sorry about the terrible quality of my photos from six years ago.) Incidentally, this method also works for getting smoky flavor into Southern-style barbecue indoors.

You could technically cook it from start to finish in this setup, but I've never successfully been able to do it without constantly fiddling with the heat (not to mention eventually burning off the seasoning on my wok), so, if you're using this method, I'd recommend smoking it for a short period with a LOT of smoke, then finishing it in the oven.

That said, this dish truly shines when it's cooked outdoors, as the Mayans intended.

I cook mine by placing it on a thin metal tray—I use a rimmed aluminum pizza sheet—and setting it over the cooler side of a grill in which all the coals have been banked to one side. (If you use a gas grill, turn on one set of burners and leave the rest off.) On top of the coals I place a few chunks of hardwood for smoke. I tried it with mesquite, hickory, and apple, and to be honest, once the pork is unwrapped, you cannot tell the difference between any of them—use whatever you've got on hand.

This is low-and-slow cooking, so I aim for an air temperature of between 250 and 300°F. The pork takes about five hours to fully tenderize in this temperature range. The easiest way to check if it's done is to use a metal skewer and poke the pork in a few locations the skewer should go in and out with barely any resistance, even if you twist and turn it.

The finished packages are a really impressive sight coming off the grill, not to mention the fact that they smell incredible. I love dishes that require a little bit of flashy table-side action. This one comes out like a birthday present—a smoky, banana leaf–wrapped birthday present—except you've got a big ol' pile of extra-tender, earthy-and-sweet, juicy pork inside. I'd take that over new socks or a video game any day.

When you serve the pork, make sure to place it inside a rather deep dish or shallow bowl—there are going to be a lot of juices that seep out, and, when you shred the pork with a couple of forks, you should be mixing it right back into those juices and seasoning it with a little salt as you go. For the simplest way to enjoy it, serve it with a stack of small tortillas and some Seville orange–pickled red onions and crazy-spicy salsa.

This is the kind of dish best made in large quantities, so you'll either need to have plenty of hungry friends or be prepared to eat leftovers for days. Fortunately, cochinita pibil chills and reheats really well and can be used in countless dishes. Tacos, sandwiches, as a pizza topping, mixed into your scrambled eggs, in quesadillas, on rice or even pasta, whatever.

I take it that a lot of you are going to have busy achiote-toasting, pork-wrapping weekends, and I want to both thank you for taking the time to cook for your friends and family and also apologize in advance, because that stuff you get at the restaurant is never going to be good enough for any of them again.


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