Authentic Mexican Cochinita Pibil: A Traditional Yucatecan Delight


Indulge in the rich flavors of the Yucatán Peninsula with Cochinita Pibil, a traditional Mexican dish that will captivate your palate with its unique combination of spices, citrus, and tender pork. This recipe, traditionally slow-roasted in a banana leaf, will make you feel like you’re right in the heart of Mexico!


  • 2 kg (4.4 lbs) of boneless pork shoulder
  • 5 tablespoons of annatto paste (achiote)
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 1/4 cup of white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground allspice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Banana leaves (optional)
  • Red onion, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • Habanero peppers, chopped for garnishing (optional)

Marinade Preparation

In a blender, combine the annatto paste, orange juice, vinegar, lime juice, minced garlic, cumin, oregano, ground cloves, ground allspice, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth to create a vibrant, red marinade.

Marinading the Pork

Cut the pork shoulder into large chunks and place in a large bowl or resealable bag. Pour the marinade over the pork, ensuring each piece is well coated. Marinate for at least 4-6 hours, preferably overnight, in the refrigerator.

Cooking with Banana Leaves

If using banana leaves, pass them over an open flame to make them more pliable. Line a roasting pan with the banana leaves, leaving enough overhang to cover the pork later. Place the marinated pork in the pan and wrap it with the banana leaves. If you don’t have banana leaves, you can wrap the pork tightly in aluminum foil.

Slow Roasting

Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C). Place the wrapped pork in the oven and roast for about 4 hours, or until the meat is tender enough to be easily shredded with a fork.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the Cochinita Pibil on warm corn tortillas, alongside pickled red onions and chopped habanero peppers for those who enjoy an extra kick. You can also garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and a squeeze of lime juice for an added zest.


There you have it—a taste of the Yucatán right at your dinner table. This Cochinita Pibil recipe is a perfect way to bring friends and family together for a festive and flavorful meal. Buen provecho!

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