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Cochinita Pibil
Believe me, you want to make this recipe!
* 1 Red onion (call it purple if you like, it looks purple to me).
* 2 pounds of boneless pork shoulder.
* 1 achiote seed paste tablet, 100 grams, 3.5 ounces.
* 3 bay leaves.
* 1 tsp Rosa Blanca (Chicken bouillon) powder.
* Salt to taste
* Habanero chili sauce.
* Corn tortillas
* 1 lt... Red Wine vinegar


Cochinita Pibil is perhaps the dish for which I get the best reviews. Everyone seems to love this dish which originated in the state of Yucatan in Mexico. I was somewhat reluctant to post the recipe here because the main ingredient (Achiote, also known as Annatto seed) can be hard to find in many places. Recently I found achiote seeds and another brand of achiote paste and therefore the time is right. Believe me, you want to make this recipe.

Katherine added this note: Achiote is a bright red spice that stains and you need to be careful when handling it. We have had a complaint but have not had time to update our site. I strongly recommend this recipe. They are the best taco's I have ever tasted!


* Cut the onion in thin, long slices
* Open the kitchen windows
* Boil the pre-cut onion for 10 minutes or until fully cooked in a mixture of half Red Wine vinegar and half water, just enough to cover the onion in the sauce pan
* Did I mention that you had to add the bay leaves to the mix before you cook the onion ?
* Put the onion mix in the refrigerator, it should be served cold. This is best done overnight.
* Cut the pork meat in chunks and discard big pieces of fat, leave some fat as it adds to the flavor
* In a separate container, mix half a cup of Red Wine vinegar, one and a half cups of water, and some salt
* Add a tea spoon of chicken bouillon to the water mix, and dissolve the achiote paste tablet in it. This may take a while to mix.


* Set tall frying pan in mid-high heat
* Add the pork and the achiote-water mix
* Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 3-4 hours or until the meat is very soft and pulls apart easily
* Pull apart the meat and cook for a little while longer, add a little water whenever necessary to keep the meat covered
* Heat the tortillas and enjoy, Cochinita Pibil is served in a plate where everyone makes tacos from it.
* To each tortilla, add some of the Cochinita, some pickled onions and Habanero sauce. The tortilla should get a little wet with the Cochinita sauce. It should not be dry.


A Pressure Cooker really helps here. If you like making dishes like this one often you should consider the pressure cooker. It will cut cooking time to half hour.

Heating tortillas on a microwave: To heat tortillas you can wrap them in a kitchen towel and put them inside a container. Microwave 15 seconds per tortilla.

Habanero sauce can be very hot. Some have great taste and others are simply heat. Avoid the extreme heat.

Achiote seeds or Annatto seeds can be used to make the paste if you can't find it in paste form. You must mush them into a paste and it will be hard to do.

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Preparation Time: Serves: 4
Recipe Origin: Mexico
Submitted by:
Ricardo Batista
United States
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