Get hands-on with your Mexican cuisine this spring and enjoy this exquisite recipe for Cochinita Pibil.
Don’t be intimidated by the laundry list of ingredients – it’s effortless to prepare and the focus behind the spicing compliments the shredded moist pork shoulder like nothing else! Marinated in achiote, citrus juices and slow roasted in banana leaves, the adventurous dish has the perfect amount of zest and texture to offer that extra bit of bite.

Adjust the spices to fashion the adaptable meal to your specific taste by trialing an assortment of spices until you achieve the style that suits you! Our favourite recipe for the cochinita pibil is as follows…

You Will Need:
(Serves 6-8)

2 tablespoons annatto seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 1/2 teaspoons Mexican Oregano (can sub. Italian oregano)
1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
6 whole cloves
1 (2 inch) piece cinnamon stick
1 shallot, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup lime juice (6-8 limes)
1/2 cup orange juice (2 medium oranges)
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 lb. boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into large chunks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lb banana leaves, thawed (unless fresh)

pickled red onions:
3/4 cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf, lightly crushed
4 allspice berries
3 whole cloves
1 large red onion, peeled, and thinly sliced

1/2 bunch cilantro
2/3 cup Mexican crema (can use sour cream plus 1 1/2 tablespoons milk)
16-24 small corn tortillas, grilled
queso fresco
radishes, thinly sliced
cilantro leaves
lime wedges


Place first 7 ingredients into a spice grinder or mortar and finely grind. Place spice mixture into a mixing bowl and add shallots, garlic, lime juice, orange juice, and oil. Whisk together.

Season pork shoulder with salt and place into a roasting pan or large baking dish lined with layers of banana leaves. Pour marinade over pork shoulder and generously rub all over meat.

Cover pork with remaining banana leaves and top with a damp towel. Place in refrigerator and allow pork to marinate for 12 hours (overnight).

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Remove towel from pork and allow pork to sit out at room temperature for 1 hour. Add 1 cup water to the baking dish and place in oven. Slow roast for about 3 hours or until tender enough to pull apart with two forks.

Remove from oven and allow pibil to sit for 15 minutes. Uncover pork from banana leaves and shred. Adjust seasonings if needed and serve with beans and rice or in tacos.

Pickled onions: Place all ingredients, except onions, into a small saucepan and simmer until sugar dissolves. Place onions into a mixing bowl and top with pickling mixture. Cover and allow mixture to sit for at least 1 hour. Serve.

Cilantro crema: Place ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Serve.

To assemble: Top grilled tortillas with pibil and finish with pickled onions, crema, radishes and cilantro. Serve.