Traditional pibil cooking from Mexico's Yucatan peninsula calls for marinating in a blend of achiote paste, citrus, and spices before the little pigs (or cochinitas) are wrapped in fragrant banana leaves and lowered into a carefully built, banana leaf-wrapped pit called a pibe. This is our adaptation for the American kitchen of a dish we first tasted in Playa del Carmen in the Yucatan.
Recipe courtesy of Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger
Save Recipe Print
7 hr 40 min
30 min
4 hr 10 min
3 hr
8 to 10 servings


Pickled Shallots:


In a medium bowl, mash together the achiote paste, garlic, orange juice, lime juice, bay leaves, cumin, cinnamon, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper with a fork. Add the pork and toss to evenly coat. Marinate, covered and refrigerated, at least 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Heat a dry cast-iron skillet over high heat. Char the onions until blackened on both sides. Then char the tomatoes on both sides. Reserve.

Line a large baking dish with 1 layer of banana leaves or foil. Arrange the pork in an even layer and top with the onions, tomatoes, chiles, and all the marinade. Cover with more banana leaves and wrap the dish tightly in foil.

Bake 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the pork is tender and moist. Remove from the oven and let sit 10 minutes. Unwrap and serve with Pickled Shallots.

Pickled Shallots:

Combine the vinegar, wine, sugar, mustard seeds, peppercorns, chili flakes, and salt in a medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the shallots and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Set aside to cool completely in the liquid. Transfer the shallots and all their liquid to a jar or plastic container. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

My Private Notes

Add a Note
Get the Recipe

Berry Dessert Lasagna

This chilled berry trifle is an easy, crowd-pleasing dessert.


Cochinita Pibil

Recipe courtesy of Barrio Cafe

Cochinita Pibil

Recipe courtesy of Mary Sue Milliken|Susan Feniger

Cochinita Pibil

Recipe courtesy of Mary Sue Milliken|Susan Feniger

Walter's Cochinita Pibil

Recipe courtesy of Chuck Hughes

Guisados' Cochinita Pibil Tacos

Recipe courtesy of Guisados

Yucatan Pork Baked in Banana Leaves: Cochinita Pibil

Recipe courtesy of Mi Cocina Restaurant|Jose Hurtado-Prud'homme

Pork Mimi's Way, Yucatan Style: Cochinita Pibil

Recipe courtesy of Aarón Sánchez

Browse Reviews By Keyword

          Check Out Our

          Get a sneak-peek of the new Food Network recipe page and give us your feedback.

          See it Now!

          Latest Stories