Achiote Braised Pork: an American Cochinita Pibil Recipe

Posted on 12 March 2009 by TheChefsWife

Cochinita Pibil is a traditional Mexican slow-roasted pork dish. Preparation of traditional cochinita pibil involves marinating the meat in strongly acidic citrus juice, coloring it with annatto seed (achiote), and roasting the meat while it is wrapped in banana leaf. I am providing a simplified version of this dish using ingredients that are easier to find that the traditional recipe.


Achiote Braised Pork

5 lbs pork butt, cut into 2 inch cubes
2 habañero chile, seeds removed and finely chopped
1/2 cup orange juice
6 limes, juiced
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 TBSP salt
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 box achiote (3.5 oz box)
1 shot of tequila

For the Marinade:

Blend the cleaned and chopped habañero peppers with the orange juice, lime juice, garlic and salt.
Dissolve the achiote in vinegar, stirring until smooth.
Mix the juice mixture and the achiote mixture well.
Add a nice splash of tequila.

Place the cubed pork butt in a large zip lock bag and add the marinade. Let it sit for 4-6 hours in the refrigerator, turning several times.

Pour pork along with the marinade into a Dutch oven. Cover with lid.
Bake in a 325⁰ F degree oven for 4 hours.

• Two Chipotles in Adobo may be substituted for the habeñero if they are not available or if you like the smoky flavor of chipotles.
• When handling habeñero peppers, wear gloves and do not touch any body parts (it will burn).
• This is going to be pretty spicy. If you do not like spicy omit the habeñero or chipotle chile.
• This dish is great with simple black beans, rice and tortillas. Serve with lime wedges.
• If you can’t find Achiote in your neighborhood grocery store try clicking here.

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2 Comments For This Post

  1. Elle Says:

    This sounds great–nicely packed with flavor!

  2. Alta Says:

    Great recipe! Tasted great as tacos with corn tortillas and black beans, and I served a papaya salsa on the side.

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