Chef Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger of
Adapted by StarChefs.com
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. Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger of Border
Grill have adapted the dish they first tasted in Playa del Carmen
in the Yucatan for the American kitchen.
Mary Sue and Susan serve the Pibil over a bed of fried plantain
slices and white rice, then top it off with guacamole and pickled
Yield: 8-10 Servings
- 1/2 cup achiote paste or annatto seeds
- 10 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups orange juice
- Juice of 2 limes
- 8 bay leaves, crumbled
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 4 pounds pork butt, cut in 3-inch cubes
- 2 white onions, sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 5 Roma tomatoes, sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 1 pound banana leaves, softened over low flame, or foil*
- 4 Anaheim chiles, roasted, peeled and sliced into strips
- 8-10 fried plantain slices
- 4-5 cups steamed white rice
- 2 cups guacamole
- 1 cup pickled shallots
*Banana leaves can be purchased at Asian and Latino markets and kept frozen for up to six months
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 cubes, toss to evenly
coat, and marinate, at room temperature, at least 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 300°F.
Heat a dry cast-iron skillet over high heat. Char the onion until
blackened on both sides. Then char the tomatoes on both sides.
Line a large baking dish with one layer of the 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 oven and let sit 10 minutes before unwrapping.
Place a fried plantain slice on a plate, and spoon ½ cup
of white rice on top of plantain. Place the cochinita pibil in
sauce on top of the rice.
Place a dollop of guacamole on top and garnish with pickled shallots.