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Cochinita Pibil

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

One of my InstaFam has requested this awesome Yucatán-Style BBQ Pork. And I don't think I can ever thank him enuff for this request, cos this is off-the-charts yummilicious. Like insanely yummilicious.

As I said previously, very much like Indian cuisine, Mexican cuisine is so vast. Every household has its own specialties and versions of dishes.

This is a traditional Yucatec Mayan slow-roasted pork dish from the Yucatán Peninsula. The traditional way of preparing this dish involves marinating the pork in fresh citrus juice, annatto seeds (which gives it the iconic vivid orange color), loads of spices, and roasting the meat in a píib (earth oven) while the pork is wrapped in banana leaves.

I am trying to replicate the píib as much as I can with my oven, a cast iron dutch oven, liquid smoke, and some charred simple salsa. And of cos, I make everything from scratch. You can use store-bought recado rojo (or anchiote paste); I am not judging.

My InstaFam suggested using a baguette...

This indeed takes a lot of time, effort and patience, but it is 100% worth it! You will get flavorful fall apart tender succulent pork! I really hope you will give this recipe a try.



(Serve 8)

  • Recado de Todo Clase (Spice Blend):

  • Black Peppercorns, 1 TBSP

  • Allspice Berries, 4

  • Cloves, 3

  • Cinnamon Stick, 1

  • Bay Leaf, 1

  • Cumin Seeds, 1/2 TBSP

  • Dried Oregano, 1.5 TBSP

  • Recado Rojo (Achiote Paste):

  • Garlic, 10 Cloves

  • Coriander Seeds, 1 TBSP

  • Black Peppercorns, 1 TBSP

  • Cumin Seeds, 1/2 TBSP

  • Cloves, 6

  • Annatto Powder, 3 TBSP Or Fresh Annatto Seeds, 1/4 Cup

  • Dried Oregano, 1.5 TBSP

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • Fresh Citrus Juice, 4 TBSP (I'm using a combination of 1 Grapefruit, 1 Orange and 3 Limes)

  • Marinade + Pork:

  • Fresh Orange Zest, 1 Orange

  • Fresh Lime Zest, 1 Lime

  • Fresh Citrus Juice, 1 Cup (I'm using a combination of 1 Grapefruit, 1 Orange and 3 Limes)

  • Liquid Smoke, 1 TBSP

  • Soy Sauce, 1 TBSP

  • Sea Salt, 10g

  • Mushroom Powder, 1 TBSP

  • Pork Shoulder Sliced, 1kg

  • Simple Salsa:

  • Tomatoes Halved, 6

  • Orange / Green / Red Bell Peppers Halved Deseeded, 2

  • Jalapenos Halved Deseeded, 2

  • Red Jalapenos Halved Deseeded, 2

  • Yellow Onion Halved. 1

  • Fresh Coriander Coarsely Chopped, A Large Handful

  • Fresh Citrus Juice, 2 TBSP (I'm using a combination of 1 Grapefruit, 1 Orange and 3 Limes)

  • Cebolla Morada Encurtida (Mexican Pickled Red Onions):

  • Red Onion Coarsely Sliced, 2

  • Fresh Citrus Juice, 1 Cup (I'm using a combination of 1 Grapefruit, 1 Orange and 3 Limes)

  • Fresh Lime Zest, 1 Lime

  • Fresh Orange Zest, 1 Orange

  • To Cook and Serve:

  • Banana Leaves, A Handful

  • Tortillas Homemade, 8 or Baguette, 8



  • Cast Iron Dutch Oven

  • Oven

  • Cast Iron Skillet / Pan

  • Mortar & Pestle / Food Processor



  1. Please visit my "How To Make Tortilla" page for the recipe.

  2. Prepare Recado de Todo Clase (Spice Blend).

  3. In a skillet over medium heat, add all the ingredients except for the oregano.

  4. Toast until aromatic.

  5. Remove from heat and transfer into a spice grinder.

  6. Blitz until powder forms.

  7. Transfer into an airtight container and add in the dried oregano.

  8. Mix until well combined.

  9. Store in a cool and dry place until ready to use.

  10. Prepare the Recado Rojo (Achiote Paste).

  11. If you decided to use store-bought achiote paste, you can skip this entirely. You will need about 100g.

  12. Roast the garlic (with skin on) in an open stovetop flame until charred.

  13. Transfer to a small bowl.

  14. Cover with cling film and set aside to steam.

  15. In a skillet over medium heat, add coriander, peppercorns, cumin, cloves and annatto seeds (if using).

  16. Toast until aromatic.

  17. Remove from heat and transfer into a spice grinder.

  18. Blitz until powder forms.

  19. Once the garlic is cooled enuff to handle, peel and discard the charred skins.

  20. I'm using a mortar and pestle to mix everything together. You can also use a food processor.

  21. Pound or blitz the roasted garlic until coarse paste forms.

  22. Add in the coriander powder mixture, annatto powder (if using), oregano and salt.

  23. Pound or blitz until well combined.

  24. Add in the citrus juice and mix until it comes together into a paste.

  25. Set it aside until ready to use.

  26. Prepare the marinade + pork.

  27. Mix everything, except for the pork shoulder, along with 1 TBSP of Recado de Todo Clase and all of the Recado Rojo until well combined.

  28. Add in the pork and coat the pork well with the marinade.

  29. Cover and marinade in the fridge for at least 24 hrs to 48 hrs.

  30. Prepare the simple salsa.

  31. You can prepare this and the pickled onion a day before while the pork is marinating or when the pork is cooking in the oven.

  32. I am using a large skillet over 2 stovetops and I covered the skillet with foil to prevent any annoying charred bits stuck on the bottom.

  33. Cook all the vegetables, except for the coriander, cut side down until lightly charred.

  34. You may have to do this in batches.

  35. Again, I am using my mortar and pestle to pound everything together. You can use a food processor. Reserve 1 bell pepper for the pickled onion.

  36. *Do not remove any charred bits as you want the maximum smokiness in this salsa.*

  37. Add in the coriander and season with salt along with fresh citrus juice.

  38. Mix until everything is well combined.

  39. Set it aside until ready to use, preferably in the fridge.

  40. Prepare the Cebolla Morada Encurtida.

  41. Combine everything together along with 1 of the charred bell pepper.

  42. Season with salt and set it aside until ready to use, preferably in the fridge.

  43. Cooking the Cochinita Pibil.

  44. Preheat oven to 120 degree celsius or 250 fahrenheit.

  45. Lightly roast the banana leaves on a stovetop open flame until soft.

  46. Line a dutch oven with the roasted banana leaves.

  47. Add in the pork and all the marinade.

  48. Cover the pork with more roasted banana leaves.

  49. Cover the dutch oven with the lid.

  50. Wack to the oven and bake for 8 hrs or until the meat almost falls apart.

  51. Yes, it takes 8 hrs of slow roasting.

  52. After 8 hrs, assemble the tacos.

  53. Heat up some tortillas in a skillet or toast some baguette.

  54. Serve the tacos with a spread of that simple salsa, some of that Cochinita Pibil and top it off with Cebolla Morada Encurtida. The same goes for the baguette (if using).

  55. Enjoy.

The flavors are off the charts!

Insanely yummilicious...


Recipe Video:

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