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Cochinita Pibil

Cochinita pibil has to be one of the most delicious of all Mexican dishes. Melt in your mouth pork cooked in a mix of intensely flavoured ingredients. This is an easy version that skips on a couple of steps but the result is still one of the tastiest cochinitas you’ve had. 

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Cochinita Pibil

-1kg pork shoulder, cut into even chunks

- 55g achiote paste

-½ tsp oregano

-½ tsp ground cumin

-6 allspice 

-¼ tbsp peppercorns

-1 small cinnamon piece, about 1cm

-2 cloves

-2 tbsp salt

-¼ white onion

-10 garlic cloves

-1 cup orange juice

-1 cup lemon juice

1 Take the allspice, peppercorns, cinnamon and cloves and place them in a hot pan with no oil. Lightly toast them on medium-low heat until fragrant. A couple of minutes should do. 

2 Mix the spices with the achiote, oregano, ground cumin, salt, onion, garlic, orange juice and lemon juice. Blend them at high speed until everything has come together and there are no big spices pieces anymore. 

3 Place the pork in a container with a lid, pour the achiote mix over it and make sure everything is really well coated. Cover with the lid and let it rest in the fridge for at least 12 hours. 

4 Place the pork in a large, heavy-bottom pan and bring to a boil for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to the lowest setting, cover with a lid and cook for 2 hours. Check halfway to make sure there is plenty of liquid. If needed, add a little bit of water. 

5 The cochinita is ready when the pork pulls easily. Using two forks, separate the meat and keep warm.

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Pickled Onions

-1 red onion, thinly sliced 

-¼ cup orange juice

-¼ cup lemon juice

-3 peppercorns

- ¼ tsp oregano

- pinch of salt

-habanero pepper, thinly sliced

Mix all the ingredients making sure the onions are well coated in the liquid and spices. 

2 Cover and leave to rest inside the fridge until ready. 


To Serve

-corn tortillas

-pickled onions

-lime slices

-fresh coriander, roughly chopped

-Refried Black Beans La Sierra

-Pickled Habaneros La Costeña

-Salsa de Habanero Rojo

1 Warm the corn tortillas and keep them wrapped in a tea towel or inside a tortilla warmer

2 If using refried beans, warm them up and add a good dollop of them to the tortilla followed by cochinita on top. Add plenty of pickled onions and sprinkle fresh coriander on top. 

Notes:

- A million things can be said about what’s the authentic way to make, serve and eat cochinita pibil. The only correct way is the one that you enjoy the most. This is a very low effort-big payoff recipe. Even when making the marinade or recaudo requires a couple of steps and a few unusual ingredients, all there is to do is to blend it all together and mix it with the meat. 

- Cochinita pibil is named as such thanks to the way is traditionally cooked which is underground in a pit, covered for hours, until the pork falls apart. Cochinita is also cooked wrapped in banana leaves. If you can get those, by all means, use them, however, not using them doesn't stop this recipe from being all sorts of delicious.

- Black beans and cochinita are a very lovely combination, you don't have to use them but we highly recommend it.

 -Habanero is the traditional chilli to go with cochinita, however, don’t be afraid to use other chillies with the pickled onions instead. Thinly sliced jalapeños or serranos work perfectly well while keeping the heat levels down.

- If you are not sure about fresh habaneros, then pickled habaneros or even better, Salsa de Habanero Rojo are very tasty and a little bit less hot than a fresh chilli. 

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Enjoy!

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