Cochinita Pibil

My 6-year-old gave me several mini-lectures about not using the Lord’s name in vain while we were eating this dinner because I kept saying, “Oh my GOD – this is so good!” With apologies to both Little Hippie and the 10 Commandments, I  present the Cochinita Pibil my friend Sara made for us while I was recovering. Sara says it is one of her “favorite food memories of Mexico.”  


  • 3-4 pounds pork shoulder
  • 1 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed, if possible)
  • 1/2 cup lime juice (the juice of 4-5 fresh limes)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 ounces of red achiote paste
  • a few shakes of dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pickled red onions, for garnish
  • chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • lime wedges, for garnish


  1. In a blender, mix the orange juice, lime juice, salt, achiote paste, and oregano until combined.
  2. Cut pork into 2-inch chunks, then marinate overnight in the juice mixture.
  3. Pour pork and marinade into a slow cooker and add bay leaf.
  4. Cook on high for about 3 hours, until the meat is falling apart.
  5. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Remove meat and shred (Sara suggests using a potato masher to make this job easy).
  6. Add enough sauce to coat the meat, then serve.
It was wonderful in tacos with the pickled onions (I will share this recipe soon, but there is a link here in the meantime). The kids passed on the onions, but loved theirs with cheese.
And the leftovers made some of the most decadent nachos I have ever eaten. Lunch the next day was almost as “Oh my GOD” as the original dinner was.

Source: Adapted from:


2 thoughts on “Cochinita Pibil

  1. Pingback: 5 Wonderful Things People Did For Us While I Was Recovering From Surgery « The Reluctant Hippie

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