Cochinita pibil with pickled pink onions

45 minutes


  • 2 pink onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 100ml of white wine vinegar
  • 1.5kg pork shoulder
  • 1 tbsp of achiote paste
  • 2 oranges, juiced
  • 4 limes, juiced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped and crushed into a paste with salt
  • 2 tbsp of dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried chilli
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt
  • cracked black pepper


First prepare the pork by rubbing all over with salt and pepper and then place into a large casserole. Pour the orange and lime juice over and rub in, holding just a little bit back
Combine the achiote paste, garlic paste, oregano, chilli and paprika in a small bowl, adding the remaining citrus juice to loosen a touch. Then rub all over the meat. Gloves might be useful here because the achiote can stain. Cover with the lid and leave to marinade for 2 hours
Preheat the oven to 120°C/gas mark 1/2
Remove the lid and place a rough cartouche of greaseproof paper on top of the meat, tucking in all around. Pop the lid back on, put the casserole in the oven and leave to slowly cook for 7-8 hours (I usually leave it overnight)
When ready, the pork should be on the point of collapsing and can be roughly shredded into ribbons
While the meat cooks, you can also make your pickled onions in advance. Pour the white wine vinegar into a saucepan and bring it to the boil. Add the pink onions and simmer for just a minute as you want to retain the crunch
Remove from the heat and leave to cool. We like to serve cochinita pubil in tortilla wraps, with guacamole, toasted corn (kernels dry-fried in a pan), and of course, with pickled pink onions