This Cochinita Pibil recipe was created in partnership with Pyrex. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make ¡Hola! Jalapeño possible.
If you are looking for Day of the Dead recipes, this slow-roasted pork dish is a wonderful one to share with family and friends for the holiday. The traditional achiote and citrus-marinated pork shoulder from the Yucatan tastes incredible, takes very little hands-on time, and feeds a crowd. Scroll down to see how easy it is and let the party planning begin.
The Right Dish for the Job
The secret to making fall-apart tender Cochinita Pibil at home, is to roast it low and slow in the oven. The only thing you need is a deep baking dish. Luckily, Pyrex has released a brand new line of baking dishes, Pyrex Deep, that are up to 50% deeper than your average baking dish. You’d be surprised at the difference a deeper dish can make. That inch or so gives you tons of room to stack, pack, stuff, and in this case, wrap up more of your favorite recipes—which, might I add, gives you more to love.
Case in point, you might remember the 8-layer enchilada casserole I made last spring in the Pyrex 8-inch square deep baking dish. Try that in a traditional baking dish. On second thought, don’t try that, it won’t work.
For this particular recipe, I needed something a bit larger, so I used the 9 x 13-inch deep baking dish. The larger dish is perfect for not only holding the 4-pound pork shoulder roast, but also the layers of banana leaves needed to make authentic Cochinita Pibil. Giving real meaning to the phrase, cook deeper!
Tips For Making Cochinita Pibil In the Oven
Despite it’s seemingly strange ingredients—banana leaves! achiote paste!—it’s a perfectly simple dish to prepare. Those aforementioned unmentionables can easily be found at your local Latin market. Look for the banana leaves in the produce aisle or they may be in the frozen foods section, thaw them out before use. The achiote paste is with the spices, comes in a rectangular box, and is a brick which should be broken up with your hands before putting in the blender. Here’s some more pointers:
- Don’t skip the banana leaves part. They aren’t just for looks, they add flavor. You know what a ripe banana smells like? That’s what we’re going for.
- You don’t need to marinate the meat. (Yay!) It roasts for 6 hours giving the pork plenty of time to soak up all the delicious flavors.
- Traditional Cochinita Pibil recipes use sour orange juice, like from Seville oranges. If you can find those, use 2 1/2 cups of sour orange juice instead of the orange + lime juice mixture.
- This is a simple marinade made with store-bought achiote. It tastes great and is easy. Want to spice it up? Add fresh garlic, whole allspice, black peppercorns, and/or cumin to the blender when making the marinade.
How to Serve Cochinita Pibil
This deeply flavorful meat makes the best pork tacos. Traditionally the Cochinita is piled high on warm tortillas with pickled red onions and habanero sauce. I’ve combined the two toppings into one by making spicy habanero pickled onions.
If you really love the heat, there are several store bought habanero sauces on the market or you can make your own Mexican habanero salsa to drizzle on top.
Learn more about Pyrex Deep by visiting www.PyrexHome.com!Print
How to Make Cochinita Pibil in the Oven
Cochinita Pibil traditionally is cooked low and slow outside, but you can easily recreate the same great flavors by baking it in a deep pan in the oven.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 6 hours
- Total Time: 6 hours 15 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: main dish
- Method: slow-roasted
- Cuisine: Mexican
For the Cochinita Pibil:
Fresh banana leaves, for wrapping
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder
3.5 ounce package Achiote paste
2 cups orange juice
1/2 cup lime juice
3 teaspoons kosher salt
For the Spicy Pickled Red Onions:
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 habanero, stemmed, seeds removed, minced
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Heat oven to 300°F and arrange rack in the middle.
Line a Pyrex Deep 9 x 13in baking dish with 2 layers of banana leaves. Place pork shoulder in dish.
Combine achiote paste, orange juice, lime juice, and salt in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour over pork.
Wrap pork with banana leaves and cover the entire dish tightly with foil. Place in oven and cook slowly until pork is very tender, about 6 hours.
To Make the Spicy Pickled Red Onions:
Combine onions and habaneros in a medium, heatproof bowl.
Combine sugar, vinegar, water, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, whisking to dissolve sugar. Let simmer 5 minutes then pour hot pickling liquid over vegetables.
Cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate until cold.
Remove pork and shred into bite-sized pieces. Discard banana leaves, saving any pan juices that have accumulated on the bottom. Stir meat with pan juices and serve in warm tortillas, pickled onions, and fresh cilantro leaves.
Cochinita Pibil can be made up to three days in advance. Shred meat and combine with pan juices then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Rewarm meat and juices in a frying pan over medium heat until warm.