Cochinita Pibil (Yucatan Pork in Banana Leaves)

  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
Recipe - Cochinita Pibil (Yucatan Pork in Banana Leaves)

From the Weston Kitchen

7+ hours
Cook Time


Garlic-Oregano Pickled Onions
Makes about 3 cups; 15 minutes prep time; 2 to 3 hours marinating time. Keep onion refrigerated for several days.
  • 2 medium to large red onions, sliced into thin rings
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 generous teaspoon dry oregano (Mexican if possible)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tarlic cloves, thinly sliced
Seasoning Paste 
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns crushed
  • 1 tablespoon teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice 
  • 1/4 cup whole annatto (also called achiote) seed 
  • 12 cloves of garlic - minced
  • 1 tablespoon dry Mexican oregano
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt 
  • 1/4 cup Seville orange juice (bitter orange juice), or a blend of equal parts of orange, lime and grapefruit juices, plus 1/2 cup more for sauce.
  • 2 - 6-8 pound boneless pork shoulder, well marbled 
  • Zest of 2 oranges, sliced into thin strips 
  • 2 large white onions, halved and then sliced into half moons
  • Banana leaves, thawed
Accompaniments for serving
  • 30 corn tortillas, warmed
  • Garlic-Oregano Pickled Onions
  • 3 limes, cut into wedges


Traditonal Mayan cochinita pibil  is cooked in earthen oven, but we've decided to try our roaster oven as a substitute. While we may not have met the earthiness of the traditional recipe, it still worked well.

How To 
1. Make the seasoning paste: In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the peppercorns, cumin seed, and allspice until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Cool then transfer to a spice grinder or mortar and pestle along with the annatto seed and grind into a powder. Annatto seed is hard and takes a bit of scraping down and repeated grindings to break up. Add the garlic, oregano, salt, and 3 tablespoons of the orange juice and process into a paste.
2. Make the pork: In a large bowl, rub the pork with the seasoning paste, a liberal amount of salt, and  another 1/4 cup of the juice, taking care to rub the mixture into the folds of the meat.
3. Place some chopped onions and orange zest on top of banana leaves, place pork fat side down, and add onions and zest on top.
4. Fold over banana leaves, tie with twine, and turn over when placing in roasting oven so fat is on top. 
5. Cook at 225 degrees for 16 hours.
6. Remove meat from leaves and shred with forks.
7. Reduce remaining juice over medium heat until halved. Pour over shredded pork and serve with warm corn tortillas, lime wedges, and pickled onions ( see recipe below) 
8. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl with enough water to cover the onions, and marinate for a couple of hours.
9. Serve at room temperature with the Yucatan pork, with refried beans, or on sandwiches.

Related Products Category

Sample Product Label
Back to top to the top button