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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Cochinita Pibil

  • 6 pound boneless pork shoulder (not lean), cut into 3-inch chunks
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 3 Tbs. lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 3 tablespoons achiote seeds
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 fresh or thawed frozen banana leaves
1.  Put pork in a large bowl and rub with 1 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons juice.
Toast peppercorns, cumin, and allspice together, then cool slightly. Transfer to grinder along with achiote seeds and grind to a powder. Transfer to a small bowl.
Mince garlic and mash to a paste with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt using side of a large heavy knife. Add to ground spices along with oregano and remaining 6 tablespoons juice and stir to make a paste.
Toss pork with paste to coat well.

2.  Line roasting pan with banana leaves, shinier sides down, by arranging 1 leaf lengthwise and 2 leaves crosswise, letting excess hang over sides. Trim overhang to about 8 inches on all sides.
Transfer pork mixture to banana leaves, then fold overhang of leaves over pork to enclose completely. Cover pan tightly with foil and chill, at least 6 hours and overnight preferably.
Put oven rack in middle position, then put pan with pork in oven and heat to 400°F (to take chill off pork gently).
Once oven has reached 375°F, bake until pork is very tender, 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 hours.
Discard foil and open banana leaves, then serve pork with salsa, pickled onions, sliced radishes, and tortillas.

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