Puerco pibil – Mexican slow cooked pork

Puerco pibil – Mexican slow cooked pork

Puerco pibil - slow roasted pork

A raft of earthy spices and the sweet smell of slow-cooked pork. This is what hits you as soon as you open the lid after three hours of tender cooking.

So here I am making use of the achiote paste I whipped up recently, and the last of that stash of pork loin* which filled a good chunk of space in my little freezer.

Puerco pibil - slow roasted pork

The Mayans used to cook the pork in a pit (that’s where pibil comes into it), but a heavy based pot is good enough for me. My backyard isn’t big enough to be digging holes for cooking!

The marinade for the pork may be achiote based, but it’s Seville oranges that give it bitter notes – flavours quite common about the Yucatán, I believe.

No Seville oranges in my part of the world at the moment, so it was a combination of regular naval orange and lime juice, to substitute.

Puerco pibil - slow roasted pork

The result – tender shreds of pork with a tart, spice-filled flavour that goes perfectly with cold beer. I’ve brought a few extras to the table, as well.

I knocked together some quick pickled onions – based on one of my other recipes. I also fried up a plantain for a little extra something to nibble on, some stewed black beans, and I even made tortillas from scratch.

Talk about a kitchen marathon!

Puerco pibil - slow roasted pork

*Pork supplied by Murray Valley pork

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Puerco pibil - Mexican slow roasted pork

 

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Puerco pibil - Mexican slow roasted pork
Impossibly tender shreds of slow cooked pork loaded with Mexican flavours. This is the also the perfect taco topping.
Puerco pibil - slow roasted pork
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Puerco pibil - slow roasted pork
Instructions
  1. Combine both juices, achiote paste, cinnamon and cumin.
  2. Stab the pork in several places so that the marinade can penetrate. Put the pork into a large zip lock or plastic bag, pour in the marinade and mix it around so the pork gets covered with it. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. The following day, preheat the oven to 180°C.
  4. The banana leaves need to be prepared before using to prevent them splitting. To do this, simply run them over a naked flame - like a gas stovetop - or pour boiling water over them.
  5. Lay the prepared banana leaves into an ovenproof dish big enough to hold the pork, allowing the excess leaves to overhang. Place the sliced onion over the banana leaves, making a base for the pork.
  6. Take the pork from the marinade and place it on top of the onions, pour over the marinade, water and olive oil. Fold in the overhanging banana leaves and tuck in to enclose. Cover with a tight fitting lid and bake for 3 hours, or until falling apart. Be sure to baste it several times during cooking.
  7. When done, carefully remove the pork, discard the banana leaves and shred the meat. There should still be enough liquid in the pot to mix through the shredded pork. If not, add a little water.
  8. Serve while hot.
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  • This sounds incredible, John. One of my goals for 2016 (note: this is not a dietary goal like those so prevalent at the new year) is to make a Cubano sandwich. For this, I need a pork recipe and I think yours might be it. Lucky me, my office is surrounded with Seville orange trees – I wish I could send you some! Can’t wait to try this!

    • I look forward to seeing your Cubano, David. I had one in New York and fell head over heels as soon as I bit into it. So good!

  • Yum, one of my Mexican favourites for sure.

  • Yum. Love the idea of roasting this in banana leaves and ooh Mama those fried plantains look good!

    • Yeah, I’m kinda loving plantains at the moment. They’re such a nice alternative to potatoes!

  • KevinIsCooking

    This looks outstanding John! Love the fact you also made the tortillas and added that plantain, too. I make a Cochinita Pibil and just can never find the banana leaves. The photos are just beautiful, well done.

    • Thanks Kevin, the plantain is a nice thing to have on the side. I love it simply sprinkled with salt – so addictive!

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  • Man, that looks delicious. And I love homemade tortillas! And beer! And plantains!

  • Karen (Back Road Journal)

    I’m so happy to have found your wonderful blog and I can’t wait to try your recipe. I’ll ask my neighbor nicely if I can cut a couple of banana leaves growing in his yard.

    • Thanks for finding me, Karen! I’m sure your neighbour wouldn’t mind. Banana trees grow so quickly!

      • Karen (Back Road Journal)

        I’m so glad I did…your food all looks terrific.

  • Sara (Belly Rumbles)

    My back yard is yours to dig holes in whenever you want. This pork had me drooling from the moment I saw it pop up in social media, now I am drooling even more!

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