How to Make Cochinita Pibil in the Oven

Pork tacos

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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.



1 Pyrex Deep 9 x 13-in baking dish

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

To Serve: 

Warm tortillas

Cilantro leaves


Heat oven. Heat oven to 300°F and arrange rack in the middle. 

Prepare baking dish. Line a Pyrex Deep 9 x 13in baking dish with 2 layers of banana leaves. Place pork shoulder in dish on top of banana leaves. 

Make marinade. Combine achiote paste, orange juice, lime juice, and salt in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour over pork. 

Wrap pork tightly and roast. 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 vegetables. Combine onions and habaneros in a medium, heatproof bowl. 

Make pickling liquid. 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. 

Pickle onions. Cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate until cold. 

To Serve: 

Shred pork and mix with juices. 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

Serve. 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. 

Keywords: Cochinita Pibil