Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cochinita Pibil

Good afternoon bloggers! In this installment of Everyday Meals, we are going to be making a dish that is indigenent to Mexico. The Yucatan to be exact. This is is a perfect dish for parties and for big families. It's called Cochinita Pibil. It's a braised pork dish that can be accompanied with rice and a good beer of your choice. Let's grab our aprons and/or chefs hats and let's get cooking!

Cochinita Pibil

You will need:

  • 4 pounds of pork shoulder
  • 1 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed if possible
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 3 ounces of red achiote paste
  • Pickled red onions, for garnish
  • Dry Mexican cheese, for garnish
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for garnish

NOTE: You can find the achiote paste at a Specialty Latin market, or possibly a supercenter.

  1. The night before or the morning before you plan to serve this, mix the orange and lime juice with the achiote paste and salt in a blender until combined. 
  2. Be sure to rinse the blender soon afterwards, as the achiote stains. 
  3. Cut the pork into chunks of about 2 inches square, but don’t trim the fat, as you will need it in the braising to come. You can always pick it out later. Put the pork in a non-reactive (glass, stainless steel or plastic) container, then pour over the marinade mixture. 
  4. Mix well, cover and keep in the fridge for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours.
  5. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. 
  6. Line a large casserole with a double layer of heavy-duty foil, or a triple layer of regular foil because you want a good seal (You can also use banana leaves, which is the traditional method for cooking this dish.)
  7. Pour in the pork and the marinade and close the foil tightly. 
  8. Put the casserole in the oven and bake for at least 3 hours. 
  9. At the 3 hour mark, check to make sure the meat is tender and falling apart.
  10. When the pork is tender, take it out of the oven and open the foil. 
  11. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon to a bowl, then shred it with two forks.
  12. Pour enough sauce over the meat to make it wet.
  13. To serve, either use this as taco meat or eat it over rice, garnished with cilantro, lime wedges and queso seco, a Mexican dry cheese a little like Greek feta.
  14. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this dish and I will see you all tomorrow. Great job cooking everyone!