Cochinita Pibil

Adapted by
January 2020
Yield: 6 dozen tacos


(Yield: 1 quart)
55 grams guajillo chiles (stems, seeds, veins removed), toasted
170 grams achiote paste
85 grams peeled garlic
16 grams cumin seeds, toasted and ground
190 grams cumin seeds, toasted and ground
20 pounds pork shoulder
65 grams salt
2 banana leaves
3 limes, halved
4 sticks cinnamon
2 quarts orange juice
1 pound carrots, diced large
10 habanero
2 cloves garlic
? tablespoon salt
Olive oil
? cup cider vinegar
? teaspoon sugar
1 cup hot water
To Assemble and Serve:
(Yield: 1 serving)
1 warm tortilla
Pickled red onion
Cilantro leaves
1 wedge lime


For the Marinade

In a pot, combine toasted chiles and 1 cup water. Bring to boil, remove heat, cover, and steep 10 minutes. Transfer chiles, with their liquor, to a Vitamix blender; blend to a silky paste. Scrape chile paste into a bowl. To the blender, add remaining ingredients, blend to silky paste, and add to chile paste, whisking until combined. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 weeks. 

For the Pork

Score the fat cap of the pork shoulder, making sure to expose the muscle underneath. Season pork with salt, taking care to thoroughly rub the salt into the scored section. Refrigerator overnight. Cut pork into 4- by 4-inch hunks and place in a nonreactive container with the Marinade. Thoroughly rub the Marinade into the pork. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

For the Braise

Heat oven to 325°F with fan on low speed. Line a large, 4-inch-deep hotel pan with banana leaves, leaving enough leaf hanging over the edge to cover the marinated pork. Arrange half the pork in an even layer in the pan. Add half the oranges, limes, cinnamon, and orange juice. In an even layer, add the remaining pork followed by remaining citrus, cinnamon, and juice. Add any remaining Marinade. Foldover banana leaves to cover. With aluminum foil, tightly cover pan, and braise pork in oven at least 4 hours, until meat easily pulls apart. Cool pork in liquid. Pull meat, reserving separately from liquid. 

For the Salsa

Heat oven to 400°F. On a sheet tray, season carrots, habaneros, and garlic with salt and olive oil.  Roast until carrots are soft and caramelized, about 8 minutes. Cool mixture, and transfer to Vitamix blender with vinegar and sugar. Purée, while drizzling in hot water, until consistency of applesauce: smooth and viscous.

To Assemble and Serve

In a pan, warm 3 ounce pulled Pork with some yummy juices. Season with salt. Transfer Pork to tortilla. Garnish with Salsa, pickled onion, and cilantro. Finish with squeeze of lime.