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Cochinita pibil (also puerco pibil or cochinita con achiote) is a traditional Mexican slow-roasted pork dish from the Yucatán Península. Preperation involves marinating the meat in acidic citrus juice, seasoning it with annatto seed which turns it a vivid burnt orange color, and roasting the meat while it is wrapped in banana leaf.
1 1/2 Cups Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
1 1/2 Cups Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
90 grams Achiote Condimentado Paste
4 Cloves Garlic
Salt to Taste
Pepper to Taste
2-3 Tablespoons Chicken Bouillon Powder, optional
3 lbs. Pork Shoulder or Loin
2-4 Large Banana Leaves
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil or Melted Lard
Dilute the achiote paste in the lime and orange juice. Add salt and pepper to taste as well as chicken bouillon if desired. Cut the pork into stew-sized pieces. Marinate the pork in the achiote-juice mixture in a covered dish in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. Marinating is essential to succes, so this step cannot be skipped.
Wrap and Roasting Directions:
Pre heat oven to 325.
To prepare the banana leaves, hold them over a gas burner or put them in a skillet over medium heat. Heat them until they can change color a bit and soften. This prevents them from tearing when you wrap the pork in them.
In a rectangular pan, lay a banana leaf lengthwise and another along its width. Place the marinated pork, pouring all the marinade on top of it, on the leaves and pour the vegetable oil or melted lard over the pork. Fold the banana leaves over the pork and flip the wrapped pork seam-side down in the pan. Make sure the leaves are moist so they won't burn. Cover with foil. (Some people just choose to cover the pork with foil without the banana leaves because they think they are just for show. However, the leaves do add their own unique, subtle flavor to the pork, so don't skip this step either).
Bake for 2 hours. Remove from oven and carefully remove foil. The pork should be very tender and fall apart easily when pulled with a fork. If not, return to the oven and cook until tender. Shred pork with 2 forks when done.
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