Cochinita pibil with sour orange, quick-pickled onions & habanero chile sauce

IMG_5058

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe in English & auf deutsch

 

It’s the height of the (very) short Seville orange season right now and if you see them anywhere you should definitely get some. The intense orange flavour with its distinct bitter note and a bright, fresh sourness usually is transformed into beautiful preserves & wine but plays out beautifully in savoury dishes, too. You may have already produced this years’ vintage of Vin d’orange and jars of English orange marmalade or are harbouring plans to do so but I urge you to get a few more (great, you’ll be able to use the extra peel) to make this exceptional aromatic Mexican pork dish originating from the Yucatán Peninsula and going back to the Mayas.

Originally a pit-barbecued suckling pig, for domestic use we’ll skip the digging & burying the glowing embers in favour of a Dutch oven (cast-iron casserole), marinate a piece of pork shoulder in a paste of sour Seville orange juice, herbs & brick red achiote seeds, then slow-cook the meat in layers of banana leaves which equally impart their gently perfume. Serve pulled pork pieces in warm corn tortillas with a beautiful bright pink bitter orange sauce with quick-pickled onions & orange Habanero chile dots. On its own the bright sour freshness has the effect of an ice-water bath, it perfectly completes the perfumed & rich pork with flashes sour-sharp onion and floral-hot chilli bites. Ah, close your eyes and think of the turquoise-blue sea, white sandy beaches, palm trees and some of the most impressive Mayan monuments and archaeological sites – you’re welcome.

 

 

Cochinita pibil with bitter orange, onion & habanero sauce

No Seville oranges left, can’t get them or don’t want to bother seeking them out? Diana Kennedy has a great citrus juice substitute (grapefruit, orange, lime), see recipe below.

Got more habanero chiles than you really need? No problem, they add gorgeous flecks of bright orange colour as well as floral-spicyness to any dish (or your kitchen counter) but you could also make this wonderful warming Habanero salsa, which I annoyingly twee call ‘liquid sunshine’.

More Mexican or taco recipes: super delicious  Mexican meatballs in chipotle-tomato sauce, delicious corn with fresh epazote,  aromatic chicken chile verde, bitter-sweet Mexican hot chocolate, add a fresh Mexican twist on Green Goddess dressing, snack on Tex-Mex Chipotle-lime mix or have salad, bean & meat tacos for Friday supper.

 

 

 

Cochinita pibil


Cochinita pibil

Adapted with minute tweaks from Mexico & Diana Kennedy’s The cuisines of Mexico. If you are using Seville oranges, you should simply must reserve the rinds, pith & seeds and make proper English Marmalade (in a few days)!

 

2 kg / 4½ lbs. pork shoulder or similar (boneless)
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons Seville orange juice (= sour orange juice or substitute*)
1¼ teaspoons achiote seeds (also available as Annatto seeds in Indian/Asian shops)
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
12 peppercorns
3 allspice berries
¼ teaspoon chilli flakes / Aleppo pepper
1/8 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
4 garlic cloves, pressed or mashed or crushed
3-4 tablespoons Seville orange juice or substitute sour citrus juice*
2 large pieces fresh banana leaf, thoroughly washed and dried
water

Sauce:
1 small red onion, very finely (minuscule) chopped
1-2 habanero chiles, equally finely chopped
½ teaspoon salt
160ml / 2/3 cup Seville orange juice or substitute sour citrus juice*

To serve:
corn tortillas
salad leaves
avocado slices

 

Prepare the pork to marinade overnight: stab the pork with a fork or prongs all over, rub with salt and drizzle with Seville orange juice.

Grind achiote & cumin seeds, oregano, peppercorns, allspice berries, chilli flakes in a spice grinder. Stir spice powder, hot smoked paprika, salt, crushed garlic and Seville orange juice into a paste and smear all over the meat. Move to a freezer bag and keep in the fridge overnight or marinate at least 6 hours. Before use: Take the meat out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 165°C / 325° F and prepare the banana leaves: slowly move both sides of the leaves over a gas burner or other bare flame without singing them until they become glossy green & flexible.

Wrap the pork into the leaves and place the parcel in a tight fitting Dutch oven (e.g. large round Le Creuset), pour about ½ cup (120ml) of water over it and cover with the lid. Bake for 2 ½ hours, baste and more water if most of the cooking liqour has disappeared. Cook for another 2 ½ hours until the meat if soft and can easily be pulled apart.

Make the sauce by mixing finely minced onion, habanero chile to taste, salt and sour orange juice into a beautiful pink and orange dressing.

Unwrap the pork, pull apart & shred, drizzle with the remaining juices, keep warm. To serve heat corn tortillas (e.g. wrap in foil and heat in the remaining warmth of the oven), place a few salad leaves in the middle, avocado slices and top with the cochinita pibil. Add generous spoonfuls of the sharp dressing to taste. Enjoy!!

Simply divine with a cold Mexican beer & lime.

 

*Sour citrus juice (Diana Kennedy’s sour orange juice substitute):

1 teaspoon grapefruit rind, grated
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons grapefruit juice
4 tablespoons lime juice

 

 

Deutsches Rezept:

Cochinita pibil, corn tacos, sour orange & habanero sauce


Cochinita pibil

Langsam im Bananenblatt gegarte marinierte Schweineschulter in Maistortillas mit einer herrlich sauren Sauce aus Bitterorangen, roten Zwiebeln und Habanero Chillis.

Eine leicht veränderte Version von Diana Kennedys Rezept in The cuisines of Mexico. Wenn man Sevilla- oder Bitterorangen bekommen hat, bitte unbedingt die Schalen sowie Kerne, Haut und Fruchtfleisch aufheben (Schalen getrennt vom Rest) und in den nächsten Tagen (Rezept kommt als nächstes) mit weiteren Bitterorangen echte Englische Orangenmarmelade kochen – einfach ein Muss in der kurzen Bitterorangen-Saison!

 

2 kg Schweineschulter ohne Schwarte und ohne Knochen (ein bisschen Fett sollte aber noch daran sein)
2 TL Salz
2 EL Sevilla- / Bitterorangensaft (ersatzweise saurer Zitrusfruchtsaft*)
1¼ TL Achiotesamen (gibt es auch unter dem Namen Annatto in asiatischen Läden)
¼ TL Kreuzkümmelsamen
¼ TL getrockneter Oregano
12 Pfefferkörner
3 Pimentkörner
¼ TL Chiliflocken / Pul biber
1/8 TL geräucherter Paprika (Pimenton de la vera)
1 TL Salz
4 Knoblauchzehen, gepresst, zerquetscht oder gerieben
3-4 EL Sevilla- / Bitterorangensaft (ersatzweise saurer Zitrusfruchtsaft*)
2 große Bananenblattstücke, sorgfältig gewaschen und abgetrocknet
Wasser

 

Sauce:
1 kleine rote Zwiebel, sehr fein geschnitten
1-2 Habanero Chilis, sehr fein gehackt
½ TL Salz
160ml Sevilla- / Bitterorangensaft (ersatzweise saurer Zitrusfruchtsaft*)

 

Servieren mit / auf:
Maistortillas
Salatblätter
Avocadoscheiben

 

Fleisch über Nacht marinieren: Die Schweineschulter überall mit einer spitzen Fleischgabel oder ähnlichem einstechen und mit dem Salz einreiben, dann den Bitterorangensaft darüber gießen.

Achiote, Kreuzkümmel, Oregano, Pfeffer, Piment und Chilliflocken in einer Kaffee- bzw. Gewürzmühle mahlen. Dieses Gewürzpulver mit dem geräucherten Paprika, Salz, gepresstem Knoblauch und Bitterorangensaft zu einer dicken Paste verrühren, anschließend diese über das Fleisch verteilen. In einem verschließbaren Gefrierbeutel über Nacht oder mindestens 6 Stunden im Kühlschrank aufbewahren. Mindestens 15-30 Minuten vor dem Weiterverarbeiten die Schweineschulter wieder auf Zimmertemperatur bringen.

Ofen auf 165°C vorheizen und die Bananenblätter vorbereiten: langsam beide Seiten der Blätter ohne diese zu versengen über die Gasflammen oder andere offene Flammen ziehen bis die Blätter glänzen und flexibel geworden sind.

Die marinierte Schweineschulter in die Bananenblätter einwickeln und das Paket in einen Gusseisernen Topf (z. B. großer runder Le Creuset) legen, mit 120ml Wasser übergießen und den Deckel auflegen. 2 ½ Stunden backen, mit der ausgetretenen Flüssigkeit begießen (falls alle Flüssigkeit verdampft ist etwas mehr Wasser hinzufügen) und weitere 2 ½ Stunden garen bis das Fleisch weich ist und sich leicht zerzupfen läßt.

Feingehackte Zwiebel, Habanero nach Geschmack, Salz und Bitterorangensaft zu einem wunderschönen pink-orangefarbenem Dressing verrühren.

Das Bananenpaket öffnen, die Schweineschulter zerzupfen, mit der Garflüssigkeit begießen und warm halten. Maistortillas aufwärmen (z. B. in Alufolie gewickelt im noch warmen Ofen), ein paar Salatblätter in die Mitte einer Tortilla geben, Avocadoscheiben darauflegen und schließlich mit dem Cochinita pibil bedecken, dann mit dem sauer-scharfen Dressing beträufeln und genießen!!

Ganz besonders lecker mit einem kalten mexikanischen Bier und Limettenscheibe.

 

*Saurer Zitrusfruchtsaft (Diana Kennedys Ersatzmischung für Bitterorangensaft):

1 TL geriebene Grapefruitschale
2 EL Orangensaft (frisch gepresst)
2 EL Grapefruitsaft (frisch gepresst)
4 EL Limettensaft (frisch gepresst)

 

 

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Cochinita pibil with sour orange, quick-pickled onions & habanero chile sauce

  1. Oooh, how I am drooling. What a fantastic combination. I am not very familiar with Mexican food so this lovely combo is a very pleasant addition to my cooking. Sounds utterly delicious – just what we need to beat that winter tristesse. And, yes, I did close my eyes and think of azure beaches, the sun on my face, the white sand between my toes.
    Off to the farmer’s market to hunt down some pork shoulder right away. Thank you for solving tonight’s dinner pondering for me, Nicole.
    PS lovely shots and fantastic colours.

    • Thanks Jeanette, I am floured and blushing as well as extraordinarily pleased, you’ll have a blast – the sauce literally blows away any winter tristesse, ennui or assembled cobwebs!
      Have fun – and wear gloves (the achiote / annatto paste really does stain quite a bit, wonderful on food, not cool on hands).
      Nicole xxx

  2. Nicole this is amazing. This is how I like to eat and with all of my recent trips to Mexico it’s a dish I’d love to make. That citrus sauce looks so perfect for the dead of winter. How colorful and flavorful. Your pictures are just lovely. What a meal!!! Thanks for sharing! Gorgeous!

    • My pleasure, Amanda. You are rapidly becoming my Mexico-expert – Do you leave the meat whole or cut into pieces? I wasn’t sure (our first cochinita pibil) and went with Diana Kennedy although I got the beautiful new pink Mexico cookbook by Margarita Carrillo Arronte for Christmas. I was so blown away by it and the sauce especially – so warming, bright and uplifting in flavour & colour, simply perfect. We are so hooked now. N xxx

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s