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Puerco Pibil


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I found this recipe and it sounds great. Has anyone made puerco pibil and if so, where can I get annatto seeds?

Here's the recipe:

Puerco Pibil

Ingredients

5 pounds Pork Butt cut into 2 inch cubes

5 tablespoons annatto seeds

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1 tablespoon whole black pepper

1/2 teaspoon whole cloves

8 whole allspice berries

2 Habanero Peppers, cleaned and chopped

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup white vinegar

8 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons salt

Preparation Instructions

Grind:

5 TBS Annatto Seeds

2 TSP Cumin Seeds

1 TBS Pepper – Whole

½ TSP Cloves – Whole

8 pebbles Allspice

Blend:

2 Habanero Peppers cleaned and chopped

*** take out the HOT parts of the pepper like seeds and veins !!! ****

½ CUP Orange Juice

½ CUP White Vinegar

8 Cloves Garlic

2 TBS Salt

with spices from the grinder.

Add the juice of 5 lemons and a splash/glug of tequila

5 LB Pork Butt cut into 2 inch cubes and place, with the marinate, in a large zip lock bag to soak.

*** let marinate in fridge for 60 mins ***

Line (8x13) baking pan with banana leaves. Pour in pork and marinate. Cover with Banana leaves and seal the pan with foil. Bake in a 325 F degree oven for 4 hours.

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I found this recipe and it sounds great. Has anyone made puerco pibil and if so, where can I get annatto seeds.

Preparation Instructions

Grind:

5 TBS Annatto Seeds

2 TSP Cumin Seeds

1 TBS Pepper – Whole

½ TSP Cloves – Whole

8 pebbles Allspice

i recently bought Mama Sita's brand achuete (annatto powder) (ah, but in philadelphia), so i definitely know that exists. and if you are going to grind it up anyway, you might be able to get away with the powder. i would try h-mart.
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ah, i also just did a quick search on penzey's and i think you can get the seeds there as well. http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/p-p...annatoseed.html
Thanks, the selection of Latino foods (and other goodies) isn't as great as the Asian (naturally) but we'll be there on Saturday so I'll look. I think I'll try the new Grand-Mart in what used to be Hechinger Mall on Backlick Rd. They have a huge selection of Latino spices and foods (but I don't think I'm even going to ask about banana leaves).
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You can find annato seeds (achiote) or powder, and sometimes prepared achiote paste in any Latin market. I have made this dish many times, although I have always called it "Cochinita Pibil" and have also done it in a big steamer pot, or in the Weber Kettle BBQ. It is a traditiona dish from the Yucatan--if I am not mistaken, "pibil" means pit-cooked. The banana leaf is essential for flavor--although the traditional use of banana leaf was essentially to provide a waterproof wrapper for the meat. This preparation is also excellent with chicken. I've always thought of it as a summer dish, even though I cook on my barbecue year-round.

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You can find annato seeds (achiote) or powder, and sometimes prepared achiote paste in any Latin market. I have made this dish many times, although I have always called it "Cochinita Pibil" and have also done it in a big steamer pot, or in the Weber Kettle BBQ. It is a traditiona dish from the Yucatan--if I am not mistaken, "pibil" means pit-cooked. The banana leaf is essential for flavor--although the traditional use of banana leaf was essentially to provide a waterproof wrapper for the meat. This preparation is also excellent with chicken. I've always thought of it as a summer dish, even though I cook on my barbecue year-round.
When I read the recipe and the comments from the people who shared it, it sounded so good that I'm ready to make my first Latino pilgrimage to the kitchen to try it. I hadn't thought of chicken but that sounds good as well. Now to find those banana leaves.

Thanks for the additional information, this is one area of cooking that I haven't sampled before... I see endless horizons.

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When I read the recipe and the comments from the people who shared it, it sounded so good that I'm ready to make my first Latino pilgrimage to the kitchen to try it. I hadn't thought of chicken but that sounds good as well. Now to find those banana leaves.

Thanks for the additional information, this is one area of cooking that I haven't sampled before... I see endless horizons.

Whole Foods in Old Town usually has banana leaves.

That recipe looks exactly like the one I tried out a few months ago and it was excellent!

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Odd coincidence. I am planning on making this dish later today, using pork tenderloin, but have never made it before myself. Using pork tenderloin rather than other cuts because that's what we already have, we need to use it soon, and it's low fat.

Was going to use Sazon Goya instead of real annatto, and aluminum foil instead of banana leaves, but will make a trek to the new Latin market on Backlick between 95-495 Interchange and Industrial Road. Looks huge from the Interstate.

Edit: OK, this is another, but larger, Grande Market, that strange cross between Pan-Asian and Pan-Latino, run by Koreans. I didn't have much luck finding puerco pibil ingredients but did get a lovely red snapper and very reasonable Habaneros.

Better luck at La Latina Mercado/Market on Backlick closer to Old Keene Mill. Real annato seeds, frozen banana leaves, achiote paste.

Oh, oh, what to do about sour orange juice? Make an approximation using other citrus?

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Odd coincidence. I am planning on making this dish later today, using pork tenderloin, but have never made it before myself. Using pork tenderloin rather than other cuts because that's what we already have, we need to use it soon, and it's low fat.

Was going to use Sazon Goya instead of real annatto, and aluminum foil instead of banana leaves, but will make a trek to the new Latin market on Backlick between 395 Interchange and Industrial Drive. Looks huge from the Interstate.

I'm not sure how well it'll work with tenderloin. I think it'd get pretty tough. You need something braiseable.

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Use a mixture of orange and lemon juices. If using pork tenderloin, cut the cooking time considerably, or you will have dry, tough meat.
OK, bought a pork shoulder instead. And for citrus trying juice of 1/2 grapefruit, 1 navel orange, and 1 lime. Don't think it will be noticeable. Those habaneros from Grande Mart are extremely high on the Scoville scale. After cleaning up the kitchen, washing all the dishes, and washing my hands repeatedly, licking my fingers still stings my tongue.
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Those habaneros from Grande Mart are extremely high on the Scoville scale. After cleaning up the kitchen, washing all the dishes, and washing my hands repeatedly, licking my fingers still stings my tongue.

Suggestion: TecNu Oak-n-Ivy hand detergent is frighteningly good at stripping oil-based substances from skin (and consequently somewhat harsh as well). Sold in the garden department for treating poison ivy exposure (but before you break out) and should probably be kept away from food. Plan B: GoJo or Goop, found in the automotive section. These use more benign detergents than TecNu, but add citric acid and often powdered pumice in a no-rinse wipe-off form. However, they are also significantly less effective and will require repeated application.

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Plan B: GoJo or Goop, found in the automotive section. These use more benign detergents than TecNu, but add citric acid and often powdered pumice in a no-rinse wipe-off form. However, they are also significantly less effective and will require repeated application.

Plan C: use different less spicy chiles, like serrano or jalapeno. With all of the other savory ingredients, the habaneros deliver mostly heat and you are not likely to miss their somewhat distinctive flavor.

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Reporting back on puerco pibil. Used the above recipe except substituted achiote paste for annato seeds, which, I read, were too hard for anything except a spice grinder. The only spice grinder I have is the mini-cuisinart, which would not grind these seeds into a fine powder.

Used half a cup of achiote paste, and three pounds of pork shoulder. The achiote paste already had some spices, but I put in the ones listed in the recipe above anyway. Did not use any vinegar, instead used a combination of grapefruit juice, orange juice and lime juice. Marinaded for three days because my husband came down with the flu, and wanted to wait until he could enjoy it. Wrapped the concoction in thawed banana leaves from the grocery store freezer and then wrapped that in foil. Baked at 225 for three hours.

Oh, yes, used half the salt recommended in the recipe, and only one habanero, ultra hot.

The achiote paste doesn't seem to dissolve into the marinade, nor does it melt during the baking process. Either the achiote paste or the banana leaves or both imparted an interesting herbal/vegetal aroma and taste that reminded me of the flavor eggplant skin gives to moussaka. The cinnamon heightened the evocation of moussaka, as well. The above recipe does not call for cinnamon but another recipe did and it sounded like it would be good, and it was.

The meat used, pork shoulder, got tender but seemed dry. Next time I will try a different cut of pork, one with more marbled fat.

It is a tasty dish, and not all that difficult to make if you have the ingredients. I would make again. Next time I would add sliced onions to the mix.

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Did you have any luck finding the annatto seeds? I'm fairly certain that I saw them the other day in the Grand Mart next to TemptAsian (Duke Street).
we didn't get to Super H this Saturday, I plan on picking up some achiote paste as a substitute. After reading Ilane's description, this recipe is getting moved to the head of the list.
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made cochinita pibil over the weekend.

i used a whole pork shoulder (bone in) that i ordered through my csa back in the fall (did not cut it into chunks). i rubbed it with annatto power/cumin/ground whole cloves/garlic/salt/oregano/cider vinegar past i made with the mortar & pestle. wrapped the entire 4-5 lb. thing in banana leaves for about 18 hours.

next day i threw it in the le creuset, added a tiny bit of water, lid, and put it in a 300F oven for about 4.5 hours, turning once halfway through.

when i took it out of the oven i was elated. i unwrapped the darned thing and it was incredible. very tender with a subtle banana leaf flavor on top of the paste from the day before. it looked so pretty i didn't want to unwrap, but finally i overcame the silliness and lined a platter with the banana leaves and served it whole, using two forks to pull the pork from the bone. i served it with warmed corn tortillas, fresh salsa, and seasoned black beans.

this is definitely going to be on my list of party dishes for the summertime. :o

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In your list of ingredients in your recado (spice paste marinade) you didn't list any equivalent for the traditional sour orange juice. Next time, if you hadn't included any citrus this time, try mixing orange and lemon juices or add orange juice to the cider vinegar and include that.
ah! :o i don't believe i added any citrus, so next time i will definitely do so - thanks for the advice. how much should i add? just enough to make the the spice mixture a paste? because i added just enough vinegar to make it paste-y.

adding the sour oj reminds me of another recipe that i make - a stewed pork dish cooked in sour orange juice (called pork estafado, though not the filipino version). i would bet adding the citrus to the cochinita pibil would produce a similar flavor.

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ah! :o i don't believe i added any citrus, so next time i will definitely do so - thanks for the advice. how much should i add? just enough to make the the spice mixture a paste? because i added just enough vinegar to make it paste-y.

adding the sour oj reminds me of another recipe that i make - a stewed pork dish cooked in sour orange juice (called pork estafado, though not the filipino version). i would bet adding the citrus to the cochinita pibil would produce a similar flavor.

When I have made it, the recado is a rather soupy paste. I usually do that kind of marinade in a zip-lock bag.

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I didn't see anyone mention this already, but is this the dish that Johnny Depp's character eats throughout the movie "Once Upon a time in Mexico"? If so, there is a special feature on the DVD where the director shows how it's made.
Yes, this is what Johnny Depp ate in that movie. There are recipes based on the director's instructions on-line -- as well as arguments about whether the proposed recipe is true to the DVD, and discussions about improvements and substitutions.

Aren't the Internets grand?

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i am planning on making this again this weekend. here's my question though. it seems as if a lot of people are using cut-up chunks of the pork shoulder, and marinating that in a plastic bag, then wrapping the pieces in banana leaves. (or maybe i'm wrong?)

i want to cook the shoulder whole (which is what i did the first time), but i also want to try using the sour orange (oj & lime juice).

any opinions on the amount of sour orange juice i'll need to use if i'm marinating the entire ~8lbs bone in pork shoulder?

last time i made it, the meat wasn't even close to dried out (it was very succulent), and i'm wondering what the difference will be if i use the sour orange juice.

(last time i dry rubbed the whole shoulder for about a day in the banana leaves, and then threw the entire thing in the lidded le creuset for about 5 hours with a little bit of water at the bottom, and didn't open it until 4-5 hours later).

any thoughts are very much appreciated. :blink:

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i am planning on making this again this weekend. here's my question though. it seems as if a lot of people are using cut-up chunks of the pork shoulder, and marinating that in a plastic bag, then wrapping the pieces in banana leaves. (or maybe i'm wrong?)

i want to cook the shoulder whole (which is what i did the first time), but i also want to try using the sour orange (oj & lime juice).

any opinions on the amount of sour orange juice i'll need to use if i'm marinating the entire ~8lbs bone in pork shoulder?

last time i made it, the meat wasn't even close to dried out (it was very succulent), and i'm wondering what the difference will be if i use the sour orange juice.

(last time i dry rubbed the whole shoulder for about a day in the banana leaves, and then threw the entire thing in the lidded le creuset for about 5 hours with a little bit of water at the bottom, and didn't open it until 4-5 hours later).

any thoughts are very much appreciated. :blink:

The biggest risk, when marinating with a strongly acidic ingredient, like citrus juice or vinegar, is that if you leave the meat in the marinade for several days, the muscle fibers will break down and the meat will be mushy in texture, but not necessarily dry. Dryness is usually a result of overcooking meat in an environment where its juices evaporate or dissipate out into a liquid environment. If you are only doing a 1 day marinade, I don't think you need to worry. What I usually do is take a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil, lay the bananleaf on top of the foil, put the marinated meat and any aromatics or herbs on the banana leaf and then wrap into a package. The foil makes an essentially waterproof package, which prevents the meat juices from escaping, resulting in a jucier final product. Remember low and slow.

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