miércoles, 26 de octubre de 2011

Cochinita Pibil (Mayan Pulled Pork)

November 1st marks the first anniversary of the inscription of Mexican Cuisine in the UNESCO, on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Amazingly, the nomination was french, and mainly because of two very specific regions: Michoacán and Yucatán.

I'm dedicating this month to my favorite traditional mexican dishes, starting with the one you may have already heard about: Cochinita Pibil.

This amazing slow-roasted pork recipe comes from the no less amazing state of Yucatán. Here, the cuisine is still heavily mayan, seamlessly incorporating imported spices with local ingredients to make the most unique fusion food you'll ever taste.

Cochinita means suckling pig, but pork shoulder will do. There's still some confusion, even among mexicans, regarding the meaning of "pibil". Most people will tell you it refers to the seasonings involved. Those people are fucking stupid. The mayans had a sort of underground oven, similar to the spits used in hawaii to cook their pork, called a "Pib". So pibil means oven-roasted. There, you can school the shit of some random mexican now.
Here's a Pib, heating up

We've already discussed achiote, so I'm not delving any further there. Ideally we'd make this dish from scratch, grinding our own spices, but time constraints and ingredient availability tend to fuck with my plans, so I'm teaching you how to make it using store-bought achiote paste. Sue me.

These are our stars: OJ, achiote paste, cumin, cinnamon, black pepper, all-spice and dried chiles.
Remember that time when I taught you how to make Steamed fish with Achiote Sauce and you only used 1/3 of the paste? Yeah? well, you'll need the remaining 2/3 here. So put about 2 Oz of Achiote paste, 1 cup OJ, 1 cup white vinegar, 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, 1 teaspoon whole allspice, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and about 3 tablespoons sea salt in the blender. Add as many dried chiles as your pussy-ass digestive tract can tolerate and blend the shit out of it to get a very aromatic paste.

And again, remember: the stains won't come off, ever

Remember you bought a whole bag of banana leaves for that fish recipe and only used 6? Well, take'em out of the freezer, soak'em in hot water and use them to line a large crock pot. I know, this should be oven-roasted, but cut me some slack, its fucking Hermosillo, remember? We're still above 100°F. Shit, fuckers here die, go to Hell and come back for their blankets. Make sure the leaves overlap and hang to the sides so you can fold them over the pot later.
 Place 8 lbs of pork shoulder cut into 2 in cubes into the pot. Empty the contents of the blender over the meat, and fold the leaves over the whole thing. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Crank it up to high and ignore it for at least 3 hours. The meat will be ready when it falls apart on its own.

Leave it the fuck alone. I'm serious. Step away.
Serve it like any other kind of pulled pork. On its own with rice, in sandwiches, make fucking tacos, whatever. Just make sure you top it with an ass load of the Mighty Crohn and prepare to have your mind blown the fuck away.
Look at this beautiful motherfucker. Look at it!
See? LOTS of Crohn
Sorry for the stained plate, I'm evidently not a pro
This one's a tough bitch. The flavors are agressive, and often in contrast to each other. You have the acidity of the vinegar, the mustard-like flavor of the achiote, the sweetness from the oranges, the earthiness and warmth of cinnamon and the testicle-developing heat from the habaneros.

A very neophite-friendly option would be Chardonnay. The grapes themselves are quite neutral, and while most Chardonnays are fruity, with notes of citrus and green apple, much of its flavor comes from the terroir. I'd suggest a Californian Oak Aged Chardonnay, like L.A Cetto Valle de Guadalupe. 

For decades, Chardonnay was confused with Pinot Blanc and Chenin Blanc, so both would also be apropriate. Monte Xanic Chenin Blanc Cosecha Tardía is a very nice, slightly sweet wine that can carry on all the way down to desert.

If Beer ir your poison of choice, there really are no wrong choices. Honestly, the dish is so complex in its flavors, you can either go for harmony or contrast and still win. Just stay away from the light shit and you'll be fine.

Printer Friendly Version:
Cochinita Pibil (Mayan Oven-Roasted Pulled Pork)
Serves 8:

2 Oz Achiote Paste
1 cup Orange Juice
1 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon of black peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons sea salt
5 morita chiles.
8 lbs pork shoulder, no fat trimmed, cubed
Banana leaves.
Crohn, lots of delicious Crohn

  1. Blend the first 9 ingredients together into a paste
  2. Line a large crock-pot with banana leaves and place the cubed pork in it
  3. Bathe it with your sauce. Fondle it with pleasure.
  4. Cover tightly with alluminum foil and cook it on high for 3 hours. Check for doneness.
  5. Serve with refried black beans (I cannot stress this enough: BLACK beans, motherfucker), corn tortillas and Crohn.
  6. Fucking stay Awesome, you Magnificent Bastard.
  7. Help a homie out, leave a comment.

9 comentarios:

  1. It´s just too much!!! Thanks! I´ll have really nice dreams about this recipe. Ha ha ha!

  2. "fuckers here die, go to Hell and come back for their blankets" Most quotable one-liner to describe Hermosillo. Ever.

  3. Dude, you crack me up. I don't know if I come for the recipes or for the grandiose usage of the english language.

    That's how my mother taught me to do cochinita pibil, but we've never used banana leaves. I'll get some.

  4. Debo confesar que, con mi vegetarianismo y todo, la foto de esos taquitos me ha hecho salivar.

  5. It looks great! and i bet it is tasty as f**k... it's a torture to see all those pics when ur not able to eat any of that

  6. Update: My aunt Blanca made this today and it was awesome. We had it on Tostitos

  7. seriously 3 hrs? ... cook pot (electric) is fucking slow .. only heat up nacho cheese

    1. that's why it's cooked overnight... a foul bachelor's dream