My mom was visiting for the summer to help me out with Salma and our new little one (thank God!)…that means we had a lot of great food going around. And what we were craving, more than anything, was Mexican food. So when she came over with some cochinita pibil we were ecstatic. These were, by far, the best tacos I’ve had in Montreal!
I was so happy when she told me she actually wrote down the recipe; you see in my family we rarely write recipes, we cook more with feeling and hunch. That’s one of the main reasons why I started this blog, because I wanted to have a reference of our family recipes, since there is rarely a written one. As with all my recipes, this is a guideline you can add more or less of any ingredient according to your taste.
Hope you enjoy it as much as we did! Please note that I am not claiming this is the traditional way of making this dish, it’s a way of replicating the tastes from back home.
1.8 kg de pork roast
1/2 packet of achiote
4 garlic cloves
Black pepper and salt
Juice of 2 oranges
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 c of white vinegar
4-5 all spice
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs of thyme (1/2 tsp of dried thyme)
3 sprigs of oregano/marjoram (1/2 tsp dried)
Pinch of cinnamon and cloves
Banana leaves (optional but strongly recommended if you can find them)
Preheat oven to 300F. In a blender mix achiote, onion, garlic, orange and lime juice, vinegar, black pepper and salt to season. Place meat in a roasting pan (with a lid), and pour marinade over the meat and add herbs and all spice. Place banana leaves on top and close the lid. Cook for 3.5 hrs or until meat is really soft and tender. Remove from oven and let sit for 15 min. With a potato masher (yes you read correctly) carefully flake the meat. This technique (if you can call it that) flakes the meat perfectly, just make sure not to over do it! You want flaked meat not mash!
If you are doing this in a pot mix the meat, marinade and herbs and all spice. Add about a cup of water. Once the mixture boils, reduce to a simmer. Let simmer until meat is fully cooked and flaky.