Cochinita Pibil (Mexican Pulled Pork in Annatto Sauce)


This cochinita pibil recipe is straight from Mexico. Pork shoulder is cooked in a spicy red annatto sauce, then shredded and served with habanero sauce.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 50 mins
12 servings



  • 3 ounces achiote paste

  • 1 white onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 2 cups orange juice

  • ½ cup lemon juice

  • ¼ cup white vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons salt

  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano

  • 5 pounds pork shoulder roast

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 tablespoon lard

Habanero Sauce:

  • 1 red onion, chopped

  • 3 habanero chiles, seeded and sliced

  • ¼ cup lemon juice

  • ¼ cup white vinegar

  • 1 cup lukewarm water

  • sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • dried oregano


  1. Combine achiote paste, white onion, garlic, orange juice, lemon juice, 1/4 cup vinegar, 2 tablespoons salt, 1 tablespoon black pepper, and 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano in a blender; blend marinade until smooth.

  2. Rub pork with salt and pepper and place in a pressure cooker. Add lard and pour marinade over pork. Add 2 cups water. Close cooker securely and place pressure regulator over vent according to manufacturer's instructions. Heat to High heat until steam escapes in a steady flow and makes a whistling sound, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low or low. Cook for 45 minutes from the start of the whistling sound. Let pressure release naturally according to manufacturer's instructions, 5 to 10 minutes. Unlock lid and transfer pork to a large platter.

  3. Prepare the habanero sauce while the meat is cooking. Combine red onion and habanero chiles in a gravy boat. Add 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup white vinegar, and warm water. Season with salt, pepper, and dried oregano and mix until everything is well combined.

  4. Shred meat with 2 forks and return to the pressure cooker with the cooking juices. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook uncovered until cooking juices have reduced, about 30 minutes. Serve with habanero sauce.

Cook's Notes:

For an even more intense flavor and if you have the time, cover meat with annatto sauce and marinate for about 8 hours.

Be careful when handling the peppers as they are very spicy and you might want to wear gloves.

Watch the recipe video in Spanish on my blog: Gaby Cervello

Editor's Note:

Achiote paste can be found in most Mexican stores.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

422 Calories
26g Fat
8g Carbs
38g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 422
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 26g 33%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 122mg 41%
Sodium 1334mg 58%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 38g
Vitamin C 32mg 158%
Calcium 56mg 4%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 811mg 17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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