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Cochinita Pibil (Mexican Pulled Pork in Annatto Sauce)

Chef Gaby Cervello

"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."
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1 h 50 m servings 422 cals
Original recipe yields 12 servings

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  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:
  • If you can't find achiote paste, you can make your own with annato seeds, cumin seeds, allspice, and other ingredients. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 422 calories; 25.6 g fat; 8.3 g carbohydrates; 37.6 g protein; 122 mg cholesterol; 1334 mg sodium. Full nutrition

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Very delicious! Made it as described. Easy and versatile. Made leftovers into vegetable Mexican soup. I will use this recipe again.