Walter's Cochinita Pibil

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 6 hr 25 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cook: 6 hr
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Recado (Spicy Paste):

1 tablespoon annatto (ground achiote seeds)

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 tablespoon peppercorns

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

3 whole cloves, ground

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 sprigs fresh oregano, roughly chopped

1 habanero chile, seeded and chopped 

Juice of 8 limes or bitter oranges, or white wine vinegar

One 4-pound/2 kg bone-in pork shoulder

8 banana leaves, soaked

Mild Salsa (Red Onion Salsa):

2 tablespoons/30 ml olive oil

1 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves finely chopped

1 habanero chile, seeded and diced

1 red onion, diced

Juice of 1 seville orange or 2 limes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Xni Pec Salsa (Dog's Nose):

4 tomatoes, seeded and diced

Zest and juice of 3 limes or 2 seville oranges 

1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves

1 onion, diced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

4 sections of baguette or tortillas


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C).
  2. For the recado: Using a food processor, reduce the annatto, coriander seeds, peppercorns, cinnamon, salt, cloves, garlic, oregano and chile to form a paste. Add the juice and pulse until combined. 
  3. Rub the pork shoulder with some of the recado. Lay half the banana leaves in a roasting pan. Put the pork shoulder on the banana leaves and cover with the remaining leaves. Pour the remaining recado on top. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and bake in the oven until the meat falls off the bone, about 6 hours. 
  4. Meanwhile, for the mild salsa: Mix together the olive oil, cilantro, onions and orange juice. Season with salt and pepper. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. 
  5. For the spicy salsa: Mix together the tomatoes, lime zest and juice, cilantro, chile and onions. Season with salt and pepper. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. 
  6. Serve the pork with baguette sections or tortillas, add a ladle of the sauce and garnish with the salsas.

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