Cochinita Pibil—Slow-Roasted Yucatecan Pork Recipe

Cochinita Pibil—Slow-Roasted Yucatecan Pork

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1 T annatto seeds

¼ t oregano

12 peppercorns

3 whole allspice

1/4 t toasted cumin seeds

1/8 t hot paprika

3 cloves garlic, peeled

¼ cup Seville orange juice*

¼ cup quality tequila, such as Patron

1 T salt

3 ½ to 4 ½ lb. pork loin roast

2 large pieces of banana leaf**

How to make Cochinita Pibil—Slow-Roasted Yucatecan Pork

Grind the first 6 ingredients in a coffee grinder (used only for spices) to as fine a powder as possible. Puree in a blender or food processor the garlic, orange juice, tequila and salt. Add the powdered mixture and blend to a smooth paste. Score the meat all over and rub the paste over the meat.

If necessary, render the banana leaves more flexible either by passing them over a bare flame or placing them briefly in hot water. Pat dry. Wrap the meat in them and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Place a rack in the bottom of a Dutch oven and set the wrapped pork on it. Add ½ cup water and cover the pot with a tight fitting lid. Cook in a 350 degree oven for 2 ½ hours. Baste the meat with juices from the bottom of the pot. Continue cooking for another 2 ½ hours until meat is falling apart.

Shred the meat and pour the juices from the pot over it.

*Seville oranges or bitter oranges are not easy to find but can be mail ordered. A near match for ½ cup is a blend of 1 t finely grated grapefruit rind, 3 T orange juice, 3 T grapefruit juice and 2 T lemon juice. Rice wine vinegar is a good choice for a substitute.

**Fresh banana leaves can be found in the Latin American markets of many cities. They can also be found frozen. They lend a mildly aromatic flavor to the pork.


½ cup finely chopped onion

3 chiles cayenne (or 3 chiles habaneros, seeds and ribs removed, if you can take the heat), finely minced

½ t salt

2/3 cup Seville orange juice*

Mix ingredients together and serve separately to sprinkle on shredded pork.

Inspired by Diana Kennedy and Roberto Rodriguez, Cooking classes

Question from the Chef

“What's your favorite way to cook with pork?”

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