Cinco-licious

17 05 2011

Happy belated Cinco de Mayo !! I made this on Cinco de Mayo but I took me a couple of weeks to post.. apologies !!

This has a yummy yummy but almost bitter tart flavour. I had an expectation that the red colour of the meat would be a sweet BBQ type sauce and I was SO wrong. This was intensely tart but made the meat just fall apart.

Cochinita refers to a baby pig, so true cochinita pibil would involve roasting a whole suckling pig. Alternatively, pork shoulder (butt roast), or pork loin is used in many recipes. The high acid content of the marinade and the slow cooking time tenderizes the meat, allowing otherwise tough pieces of meat to be used. The Yucatecan recipes always employ the juice of Seville or bitter oranges for marinating.

Another important ingredient in all pibil recipes is achiote (annatto), which gives the meat its characteristic color and adds to flavor.

Traditionally, cochinita pibil was buried in a pit with a fire at the bottom to roast it. The Mayan word “pibil” means “buried”.

Yucatan Pork Baked in Banana Leaves ~ Cochinita Pibil

3.5 lbs pork shoulder
1 package of frozen banana leaves (you’ll only use 2.. and they are so cool)

Marinade:
1/4 cup of orange juice
1/2 cup of cider vinegar
1 (3.5 ounce/99g) package of achiote paste
2 limes
3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon all spice

picture of the achiote paste and key limes !

Mix the marinade in a blender and pour it into a ziploc bag. Add the pork shoulder and let it marinade overnight in the bright red sauce, squishing around the pork every once and awhile.

The next morning crack out your crock pot and the banana leaves. Drape the banana leaves in the crock pot. I did a criss cross pattern leaving some banana leaves hanging over the crock pot to lovingly fold over the pork.

Place the pork, the ziploc contents in the banana leaves. I placed cut up jalapenos on the top of the pork and folded the banana leaves over and cook on low all day (8 hours). I felt this was a very Polynesian thing to do.. they always seem to be folding fish into banana leaves and cooking them.

After the pork was done, I took it out of the banana leaves and cut-shredded it. I mixed some of the juices from the bottom of the crock pot into the pork, and served it with a blob of sour cream and some beans on the side.

This dish served ALOT of people.. I figured on 20 WLS servings of 3 ounces of pork each. MUCHO pork ! This could easily be done in the oven or on the BBQ on low heat for several hours. It feeds a crew and would be a good cottage dinner this summer with some roasted corn.
Calories are 182, 2g of carbs, 10g of fat, 19g of protein.

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