Prep 1 hr
Cook 2 hrs 30 mins
Pork Cooked in a Pit (traditional pork bbq of the Yucatan Peninsula)
- 4 lbs pork shoulder or 4 lbs pork butt or 4 lbs chicken, trimmed of tendons and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons safflower oil
- 4 large tomatoes, sliced
- 2 medium white onions, sliced
- 1 large banana leaf
- white rice
- 2 tablespoons achiote seeds or 3 tablespoons achiote paste
- 1⁄4 cup orange juice
- 1⁄4 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 12 whole black peppercorns
- 4 whole allspice
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1⁄4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- Preparing the Achiote Rub:
- Note, if using prepared achiote paste instead of achiote seeds, skip the soaking and crushing step. Simply mash the paste with the orange juice and vinegar and then transfer the mixture to a blender.
- Mix the achiote seeds with the orange juice and vinegar and soak for 1 hour to soften them.
- Using a molcajete, or Mortar and pestle, crush the achiote seeds with a little of the soaking liquid.
- Transfer the seeds and soaking liquid to a blender and add the remaining rub ingredients; blend to a paste.
- Reserve 2 tablespoons of the paste for cooking with the tomatoes.
- Rub the pork cubes with the remaining achiote rub and set aside.
- Heat Oil in heavy skillet over medium heat. Add tomatoes, Onions and the reserved 2 tablespoons of achiote rub. Fry for about 3 minutes and set aside.
- Cooking the Pork:.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. have a large heavy dutch oven ready.
- Using tongs, carefully sear the banana leaf over an open flame until flexible.
- Line the dutch oven with the banana leaf and arrange the pork cubes on the leaf.
- Cover the pork with Tomato mixture, folding the banana leaf over the top.
- Cover and cook in preheated oven for 2 to 2/12 hours basting occasionally with juices from bottom of the pot. Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving platter.
- Garnish with "Cebollas Rojas en Escabeche (mexican pickled vegetables)" and serve with white rice. Serve 6.