Puerco Pibil is a slow roasted pork dish from the Yucatan of Mexico. I have to be totally honest and let everyone know where I got this recipe. In the movie “Once Upon a Time in Mexico“, Agent Sands is obsessive about this dish. On the DVD, Robert Rodriguez films himself cooking this dish. You can see it here on Youtube
You can marinade the pork up to 24 hours, or for a few minutes. I highly recommend doing steps 1-4, making the marinade and adding it to the pork the day before cooking, but you can whip this up within a few of hours. Remember, the longer the marination, the better the flavor. Just do it the night before and set the Ziploc bag in the fridge…trust me 🙂
I’ve been lucky to live near some Asian and Hispanic grocery stores that carry annatto seeds and banana leaves. The annatto is crucial to this recipe, so don’t attempt this until you can find the seeds. The banana leaves add a special flavor that can be left out if you can’t find them. They are only about $1.99 for a huge package at my local Asian mart.
The only special piece of gear you’ll need is a coffee grinder. You may have one already, but DON’T USE IT!!! These spices will completely screw up your coffee grinder, and leave the coffee tasting like Mexican food, and your Mexican food tasting like coffee. Grab a cheap grinder from Wal-Mart.
- 5 tablespoons of annatto seeds
- 2 teaspoons of cumin seed
- 1 tablespoons black pepper (whole)
- 8 allspice (the whole bead type)
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 2 jalapeno peppers
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 8 cloves garlic
- 5 lemons
- 1 shot of GOOD tequila (100% blue agave only)
- 5 lbs pork ass (rump roast)
- one large Ziploc bag (to hold all of the above ingredients)
- one package of banana leaves
- Add the annatto seeds, cumin seeds, black pepper, allspice, and clove to the coffee grinder. Grind it to a fine dust.
- Dice the jalapeno peppers. If you want to tame it down, cut out the veins and seeds. For that extra kick, keep them in.
- Add the orange juice, vinegar, salt and garlic into a blender. Add the peppers and spices to the blender. Cut the five lemons in half and add the juice, and a shot of tequila. Blend this mix really well.
- Cut the pork into 2 inch squares. Put all the meat into the Ziploc bag, and then add the marinade to it.
- Line a roasting pan or deep casserole dish with the banana leaves. Pour the meat/sauce into it, and add more leaves on top. Tuck them in together, and then cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil. If your pan or dish has a cover, place that over the foil, as the steam is what is needed to cook it.
- Put it in the oven at 325 degrees for 4 hours.
- Serve over a bed of white rice, or Spanish, rice, with a nice cold beer.