Puerco Pibil, so good

Better photo later.  This was a quick iphone shot.This weekend I got a hankering to make one of my favorite dishes, Puerco Pibil.  It’s a delicious slow roasted pork dish from the Yucatan Peninsula.  It features tangy flavors, and moderate heat from the habenero pepper.  My recipe is pretty much the one that Robert Rodriguez outlines in his entertaining 10 Minute Cooking School video.  This weekend, I made a big batch, about 15 lbs of it.  It did this because the meat vendor I use, Cash’n’Carry, sells the pork butt in ~15 lb bags.  $1.48/lb was a sweet deal.

I get all my spices from World Spice, located behind the Pike Place Market.  They’re inexpensive and delicious, and can be shipped.

My recipe, as made this weekend:

  • 15 lbs pork butt, cubed into ~2″ cubes (roughly, precision not important)
  • Banana leaves (asian grocery! cheap!)
  • 1/4 cup minced, de-veined, de-seeded habenero peppers (~16 habeneros)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped garlic
  • 1 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 cups lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1.5 cups white vinegar
  • 3/8 cups delicious reposado tequila
  • 8 oz annatto seeds, ground finely (measured as whole annatto)
  • 1 oz cumin
  • 1.5 oz black peppercorns
  • 24 allspice berries
  • 1.5 tsp cloves

Set aside the banana leaves and cubed pork.

Take the rest of the ingredients.  Grind all the spices into dust, and combine with the garlic, habenero, juices, and vinegar.  This is your annatto paste, and is what the pork will marinate in.  In a large bowl, combine the pork with the annatto paste, mixing thoroughly.   I have a large (6 qt) food bucket that I use for marinating the pork.  Put the pork into a large container with a lid.  Put this into the refrigerator for at least four hours.  I try to marinate it overnight.

On cooking day, pre-heat the oven to 325F.  Line a large pan with banana leaves, leaving enough overhanging banana leaf to allow you to fold it over.  Fill the cavity with pork mix, making sure to put all the delicious marinade into the pan.  Fold the banana leaves over this, and cover with more banana leaves, tightly packing it.  Then cover with aluminum foil.  Or not, but I do viagra over the counter india.

Bake at 325F for four hours.  You will know it’s nearly done when your house smells delicious.

Enjoy on rice, or soft corn tortillas, or as tamale fill.  There are tons of ways to enjoy this versatile dish.

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One thought on “Puerco Pibil, so good”

  1. I love that if you google “Gabriel Cain” your work is the first result.

    Your art is wonderful.

    I still have your copy of “Pooh and the Philosophers.”

    Thank you for keeping me sane all those years ago.

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