Puerco Pibil / Cochinita Pibil

This puerco pibil recipe is a slow-roasted pork dish that even Mexicans cannot tell was prepared by a Gringo.


prep 1:30       total 12:00


20 servings



10 lbs. pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
4 oz. annato seeds
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. whole cloves
15 allspice berries
1-1/3 tbsp. cumin seeds
4 tbsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. black peppercorns
1 head garlic
3 habaneros, deveined, seeded and finely diced
1 cup orange juice
1 cup apple cider vinegar or
white wine vinegar
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup Tequila (the good stuff)
2 banana leaves


Begin preparation either the night before or 12 hours before dinner in the morning.

Cut the pork shoulder into 2-inch cubes; set aside in a pan, bowl or sealable bag where it will be able to marinate.

Using a spice grinder, pulverize the annato seeds, cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice berries, cumin, salt and peppercorns until ground into a fine dust. Mix spices with liquids, garlic and habaneros. Blend the liquid and the spices together in a blender to ensure that all of the ingredients are mixed together well.

Pour marinade over the pork shoulder; cover or seal and place in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.

Line two 9x13-inch casserole dishes with banana leaves, making sure that the leaves hang over the dish enough to wrap around the pork. Places the pork inside the banana leaves, and pour the marinade evenly over the pork. Wrap the banana leaves around the pork. Cover the dish in aluminum foil.

Bake in a preheated 325°F oven for 4 hours. Serve over rice or as a filling for corn tortillas.

Author's Comments

The banana leaves send this dish over the top. They can be found in most Vietnamese and Thai markets.

Annato seeds are difficult to find - try a Mexican or Caribbean spice market. If unable to find, you may use ground achiote powder - achiote is what annato seeds are called after they are ground.

1 cup lemon juice can be made from roughly 10 lemons.

Similar Recipes


5 Recipe Reviews


neophiliac reviewed Puerco Pibil / Cochinita Pibil on December 6, 2009

I've made this twice, with about 2# or pork tenderloin instead of the pork shoulder in the recipe. Scaling a recipe like this (I have learned, the hard way) is not done proportionally to weight of the meat. So my first attempt was a little dry, but the flavor was good.

The second time I made about 2/3 of the marinade (for 1/5 the meat by weight), cooked it for an hour less (cooking time needs to scale a little by weight), and also cooked it in an oven bag. It was tender, juicy, and in my opinion, nearly perfect. Very tasty over brown rice with lots of sauce, and the oven bag meant practically zero cleanup issues.

I have a big pork shoulder in the freezer now, waiting for me to fix my cordless-drill-powered spice grinder...


barbmyers reviewed Puerco Pibil / Cochinita Pibil on April 20, 2010

I ate this dish at a party, and it was truly a crowd pleaser. The banana leaves are impressive, and the guests devoured the pork. If it's good for the director Robert Rodriguez, it's good for everyone.


jadebunk reviewed Puerco Pibil / Cochinita Pibil on August 30, 2010

I made this for my husband's birthday for about 30 people. It was a hit and by far the best slow cooked pork I've ever made. The banana leaves make for an impressive presentation. I cooked the pork two days before the party to give the pork time to cool and then shred the following night. Shredding the pork is more work than you think. I reheated the pork along with the retained juices and it was moist and delicious. My foodie friends were impressed.


fifigeeks reviewed Puerco Pibil / Cochinita Pibil on November 7, 2010

This turned out excellent! I accidentally added mango juice instead of orange juice! I added lime juice and a little more cider vinegar to balance that out and it was all good. Used ground spices as I'm in the process of moving and do not have access to the spice grinder. Next time I'm going to cut the pork up the night before, then start the marinade first thing in the morning. This is by far the most involved marinating process that I have personally ever done, and it is WELL worth doing!


sooperchef reviewed Puerco Pibil / Cochinita Pibil on June 7, 2017

Good taste & So delicious and yummy -Amazing recipe. i found the same recipe from another site like sooperchef.pk . These cookies are awesome i will suggest you to must visit ( https://www.sooperchef.pk/pakistani-recipes/ ) to find recipes.