Slow-Cooked Achiote Pork ("Cochinita Pibil")

PerryPerry Gresham

This slow cooker pork dish is delicious and reminds me of our trip to the Yucatan. It was a truly wonderful experience.

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Serves 6
prep time:
20 min
total time:
6 hr 20 minutes

Save this recipe 35
Slow-Cooked Achiote Pork ("Cochinita Pibil") photo Save this recipe 35
Serves 6
prep time:
20 min
total time:
6 hr 20 minutes


  • 3 pounds bone-in pork shoulder roast
  • 1/2 of a 3.5-ounce package prepared achiote seasoning (I like Yucateco brand adobo de achiote, available in Mexican grocery stores and through Internet sites)
  • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice (divided use)
  • Salt
  • 1/2 1-pound package banana or plantain leaves, defrosted if frozen (optional), available in Mexican or Asian markets
  • 1 large white onion, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • About 1/2 cup Fresh Hot Chile Salsa or Mexican hot sauce
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  • 1

    Place the half package of achiote seasoning in a small bowl, pour in a 1/2 cup of the lime juice and 2 teaspoons salt; use the back of a spoon to work the two together into a smooth, thickish marinade.

  • 2

    If using banana leaves, cut 2 two-foot sections and use them to line a slow-cooker—lay one down the length, the other across the width. Add the meat and pour the marinade over and around the roast. Scatter white onion over the meat.

  • 3

    Pour 1/2 cup water around the meat. Fold up the banana leaves to roughly cover everything; turn on the slow cooker. Slow cook for 6 hours until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender (the dish can hold on a slow-cooker’s “keep warm” function for 4 more hours or so).

  • 4

    While the meat is cooking, combine red onion with the remaining 1/4 cup lime juice in a small bowl. Sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon salt, toss and set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally.

  • 5

    Use tongs to transfer the meat and onions to dinner plates. Spoon off any rendered fat that’s floating over the juices. If there is a lot of brothy sauce—two cups or more—tip or ladle it into a saucepan and boil it down to about one cup. Season with salt if needed, then spoon it over the meat.

  • 6

    Top with the lime-marinated red onions and serve with salsa or hot sauce—and plenty of hot tortillas for making tacos.

  • 1

    No Slow Cooker?

  • 2

    In a large (6- to 8-quart, at least 12-inch diameter) heavy pot (preferably a Dutch oven), assemble the dish as described, including dribbling the water around the meat. Set the lid in place and braise in a 300-degree oven for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until the pork is thoroughly tender. Complete the dish as described. If there isn’t much juice in the bottom of the pan, remove the meat and add about a cup of water. Bring to a boil, scraping up any sticky bits, season with salt, then pour over the meat.

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