Traditional Cochinita Pibil involves slow cooking a banana-leaf-wrapped-pig in a smoldering pit lined with stones. The pig would have previously been marinaded, and after, the pig is allowed to cook in it’s own juices and marinade for hours in the ground. The resulting meat falls apart easily and has a rich seasoned flavor. Often it’s enjoyed simply, with pickled onions and corn tortillas. Often, this pig-roasted-in-a-pit is apart of a big celebration like a wedding or a family get-together.
Annatto – the main spice ingredient:
Cochinita Pibil is easily recognizable by it’s amazing texture and distinctive red color. The red color comes from the annatto, a spice used in much of the Yucatan. The Achiote paste (pictured below) is a mixture of annatto, garlic, vinegar, spices, and salt, and is pretty commonly sold in the Mexican section of US / Canada grocery stores. It is sold as a hard brick that has to be ground along with the other spices in this recipe.
Our Cochinita Pibil recipe:
Today we are sharing a recipe that accomplishes much of the same flavor as the pig-roasted-in-a-pit in a standard oven! It also allows you to cook a little smaller portion if you desire! We found the results to be delicious, let us know what you think! 🙂