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Cochinita Pibil Recipe
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5 from 4 votes

Cochinita Pibil Recipe

This cochinita pibil recipe makes the best pulled pork for tacos, burritos, tortas and more, uniquely flavored with achiote. It is classic Mexican cooking at its finest.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Marinating Time4 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: achiote, pork shoulder, pulled pork, tacos
Servings: 8
Calories: 179kcal

Ingredients

FOR THE ACHIOTE PASTE

  • 1/4 cup annatto seeds achiote 1 ounce by weight/28 grams
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano or use Italian oregano
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 clove use 2 if you love cloves
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 spicy chili pepper optional - use a jalapeno for a touch of heat, serrano pepper for hotter, or habanero pepper for good level of heat
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup bitter orange juice or use 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice + 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice + 2 tablespoons white vinegar

FOR THE COCHINITA PIBIL

  • 3 pound pork shoulder you can go up to 4 or 5 pounds
  • 1-1/2 cups sour orange juice or use 1 cup orange juice + 1/2 cup lime juice(this is in addition to the juices used for the marinade)

FOR SERVING

  • Pickled Red Onions
  • Sliced peppers
  • Lime wedges
  • Spicy chili flakes
  • Warmed tortillas

Instructions

FOR THE ACHIOTE PASTE

  • Add the annatto seeds (achiote), oregano, coriander, cumin, peppercorns and salt to a food processor or blender. Process to break everything apart. You can also use a mortar and pestle to grind them up.
  • Add the garlic, orange juice, lime juice and vinegar. Process to form a thick paste.

FOR THE COCHINITA PIBIL

  • Bring the pork shoulder to room temperature. Slice it into 2 inch cubes and set into a bowl.
  • Rub the sliced pork down thoroughly with the achiote paste. Pour in the remaining juices to cover the pork. Cover the bowl and refrigerate. Marinate for at least 4 hours, or overnight for more flavor penetration.

FOR OVEN COOKING

  • Heat your oven to 300 degrees F (150 C). Add the marinated pork with marinade to a large baking dish or pot. Add 1/2 cup water and cover. Bake for 4 hours, or until the meat is fork tender and easily shreds with a fork.

FOR THE STOVE TOP

  • Add the marinated pork with marinade to a large pot or Dutch oven. Add 1/2 cup water and cover. Heat to medium-low and simmer for 4 hours, or until the meat is fork tender and easily shreds with a fork.

FOR THE SLOW COOKER OR CROCK POT

  • Add the marinated pork with marinade to your slow cooker. Add 1/2 cup water and cover. Cook for 6-8 hours on low heat or 4-5 hours on high heat, or until the meat is fork tender and easily shreds with a fork.

FOR SERVING

  • Shred the cochinita pibil (cooked pork) with forks. Serve on warmed tortillas topped with pickled red onions, lime wedges, sliced peppers, spicy chili flakes or your own favorite toppings.

Notes

Calories calculated without tortillas for serving.
Banana Leaves. If using banana leaves, thaw the banana leaves (if frozen), then line the bottom of your baking dish or pot with them. The the pork and water on top, then fold the leaves over the ingredients. Then proceed with baking.
Sandwich Option. Instead of tortillas, serve your cochinita pibil on torta bread for sandwiches. Delicious.
Heat Factor: Mild, unless you add some hot peppers into the achiote paste. Traditional cochinita pibil is not meant to be spicy.

Nutrition

Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 81mg | Potassium: 469mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 126IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 2mg