Wow wow wow. Cochinita for breakfast is a revelation. The earthiness of the pork and corn tortillas meeting the brightness of the pickled onions and bite of the habanero salsa. I could, easily, have this for breakfast each morning.
Adapted from www.seriouseats.com
For the Marinade:
5-7 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons (30ml) lard or vegetable oil
1/4 cup annatto seeds or 1 ½ ounces of achiote paste (both are easy to find in any Mexican grocery store)
2 tablespoons (about 6g) Mexican oregano
3 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon whole cumin seed
1 tablespoon whole allspice berries
1/4 cup (60ml) each lime, orange, and grapefruit juice (or if Seville oranges are available, 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup (60ml) white vinegar
1 tablespoon (15ml) soy sauce
For the Pork:
4 pounds (1.8kg) boneless pork shoulder or 6 pounds (2.7kg) bone-in pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch-thick slabs
6 to 8 banana leaves for wrapping, or aluminum foil if you can’t find them. They are usually easy to find frozen in any Asian grocery store)
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
1 red or green bell pepper, sliced
1 white onion, sliced
4-5 bay leaves
Warm corn tortillas
Yucatan-style pickled onions (see www.seriouseats.com for recipe)
Habanero salsa (see www.seriouseats.com for recipe)
Heat oil or lard in a skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic, achiote, oregano, cloves, cinnamon, black peppercorns, cumin, and allspice and cook, tossing and stirring, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender along citrus juice, vinegar, soy sauce, and a big pinch of salt. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with more salt. It should be quite salty and have a consistency like ketchup. If too thick, thin it with water until it flows slowly.
Pour marinade over meat and rub it in with your hands. Cover, refrigerate, and let it rest at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
Lay out 2 to 3 overlapping banana leaves on a work surface. Place 1 piece of pork in the center and layer with some of the tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, and bay leaves. Form a tight parcel by folding the bottom side up and the top side down, then rolling in the sides. Secure parcel with kitchen twine and transfer pork to an oven-safe baking pan or disposable aluminum baking tray. If you have multiple pieces of pork, wrap them separately. Cook in oven at 300°F for approximately 5 hours. Make sure to let the meat rest for 15 minutes before you open and shred it. Alternatively you can use a more traditional method and cook it on a grill. Here’s the method for that [insert link for www.seriouseats.com recipe].
Unwrap banana leaves and serve immediately, shredding pork with two forks, soaking it in drippings, and stuffing it into tortillas with pickled red onions and salsa.
Download Recipe: Cochinita Pibil