Cochinita pibil tacos

Inhale tacos. exhale negativity.

– Every taco fan ever

Cochinita pibil is a traditional Mexican pork dish from the Yucatán Peninsula. Eventhough this dish is traditionaly from the south of Mexico there is no household in the country that dosent know how to prepare a really good home-made cochinita pibil taco! This dish is part of the must-know unspoken book of living in Mexico and no matter how common it is in our households a good cochinita pibil will always be the star of the table if cooked with love.

Making Cochinita Pibil is not hard! The only problem is that it needs a secret ingredient that is sometimes hard to find if you are not in Mexico (but hey! i made it in Italy!). This secret ingredient is called achiote and it is the heart of Cochinita Pibil. Achiote is a paste made of a mix of annatto seeds (aka achiote), garlic, chilies, bitter orange juice and a mix of seasonings. Sadly without this…there is no cochinita 😦 😦 😦 😦

However if you DO get this bright red paste then you can start the fun! Making Cochinita Pibil is a great way to impress your “I love mexican food” fanatics that had not tried the colorful world of mexican food outside the tex-mex dishes in town. The best part? it’s VERY easy to do…

As with most home recipes…there is not an exclusive way to cook this beloved dish. So we decided to share with you how we make it at home for our saturday taco cravings, with the hope that the outcome is worth that taquito dream of yours.

It really get’s as easy as just popping ingredients into a blender. Because the true trick behind some good Cochinita is the marination time! So be patient and let your Cochinita rest in your fridge for some hours…maybe even the night!

We usually make our own tortillas at home. But we decided to try a brand of tortillas in Milan from Don Jose (if you are in Italy make sure to order online if you want some mexican ingredients in your kitchen).

There is only ONE rule for eating tacos. EAT THEM WITH YOUR HANDS! It’s an insult to the taco if you eat it with a fork,

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of pork
  • 1 pack of achiote (almost 110g)
  • 1 cup of orange or lemon juice (you can also use white vinegar or the 3 of them!)
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 1 large white onion sliced in half
  • 1/2 large purple onion (optional)
  • 3 habanero chilli
  • Any fresh or dried chilli you prefer according to how much you want this cochinita to be spicy ( this part is optional)
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Prepare the achiote by placing it in a bowl and adding slowly some of the juice/juices of your choice. Do not add the full cup yet, make sure to add a half of it to make the achiote more citric. Once the achiote has completely mixed with the juice, stir it with a spoon and add the mixture in a blender.
  2. Add the garlic, half white onion season with salt and pepper and blend it all together. Try it and trust your instincts, if you prefer it more citric then add more juice and so on.
  3. Cook the pork on a pan until both sides are slightly brown and the center it’s still raw. Add your achiote mixture and let it cook in medium heat for around 40-60 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile the pork is cooking you can chop the purple onion and the rest of the white one in squares. Chop and add the habanero as well. Mix them in a bowl and add a squeeze of lemon if you like. Save it for serving optionally for the tacos.
  5. Once the pork is cooked, shred it in a bowl, heat some tortillas and make some tacos!

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