Cochinita pibil shredded pork in a clay bowl
Food - Drink
Cochinita Pibil: The Yucatán's Famed Barbecue Pork Dish
Mexican cuisine is much more varied than you might think, and each region has its own unique specialties, like the state of Yucatán's delectable cochinita pibil.
Cochinita pibil is slow-cooked pork that is renowned for its vivid orange color, juicy and tender texture, and unique flavor that is by turns earthy, smoky, and sour.
Cochinita pibil is descended from a traditional Mayan dish of wild meat cooked in an underground oven, but once the Spanish introduced pigs, pork became the protein of choice.
The dish blends Mayan and Spanish cultures, using traditional Mayan ingredients like habaneros and peppery, earthy annatto seeds, as well as sour oranges introduced by the Spanish.
Cochinita pibil is made with fatty cuts of pork, like the shoulder or leg, which are marinated in sour orange juice, garlic, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, oregano, allspice, and annatto.
After marinating for several hours, the pork is cooked in an underground oven overnight, or wrapped in banana leaves and aluminum foil and slow-cooked in a regular oven.
Once cooked, the cochinita pibil is unwrapped, shredded, and served in a warm tortilla with the extra juices spooned over the top, along with pickled red onions, lime, and salsa.