HOW TO EAT COCHINITA PIBIL
Cochinita Pibil (pronounced ko-chin-ee-ta pee-beel), also known as Puerco Pibil, is a traditional Mexican slow-roasted pork dish from the Yucatán Península. It is a must try for anyone who wants a taste of Yucatecan cuisine. Making the traditional cochinita or puerco pibil involves marinating the meat in strongly acidic citrus juice, coloring it with annatto seed, and roasting the meat while it is wrapped in banana leaf.
Although cochinita refers to a baby suckling pig, pork shoulder (butt roast), or pork loin can also be used for making the delicacy. However, authentic cochinita would involve roasting a whole suckling pig.
The marinade plays a major role in this recipe, and the high acidic content of the marinade and the slow cooking time tenderizes the meat.
The traditional Yucatecan recipes always employ the juice of Seville or bitter oranges in the marinade. In the absence of bitter oranges, the juice of sweet oranges combined with lemons, limes, or vinegar are employed to duplicate the effect of the bitter orange on the meat.
Another important ingredient is achiote or annatto, which gives the meat its characteristic red color and flavor.
Traditionally, cochinita pibil was buried in a pit with a fire at the bottom to roast it. The Mayan word "pibil" means "buried". Now, however, in a simplified form, Cochinita Pibil is cooked until the meat pulls away from the bone, and then shredded and served either as taco meat, or over rice, garnished with cilantro, lime wedges and queso seco, a Mexican dry cheese and some pickled onions.
For the recipe of Cochinita Pibil, click here.
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