Slow-Cooked Achiote Pork ("Cochinita Pibil")Perry Gresham
This slow cooker pork dish is delicious and reminds me of our trip to the Yucatan. It was a truly wonderful experience.
- 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)
- 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
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Top with the lime-marinated red onions and serve with salsa or hot sauce—and plenty of hot tortillas for making tacos.
No Slow Cooker?
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.
Source: Rick Bayless, "Mexican Everyday"