(also puerco pibil
) is a traditional Mexican slow-roasted pork dish
. Preparation of traditional cochinita or puerco pibil involves marinating
in strongly acidic citrus juice
, coloring it with annatto
seed, and roasting the meat while it is wrapped in banana
refers to a baby pig, so true cochinita pibil would involve roasting a whole suckling pig
. Alternatively, pork shoulder (butt roast), or pork loin is used in many recipes. The high acid content of the marinade, and the slow cooking time, tenderizes
the meat allowing otherwise tough pieces of meat to be used. The Yucatecan recipes always employ the juice of Seville or Bitter oranges
for marinating, in areas where bitter oranges are not common, juice of sweet oranges combined with lemons
, or vinegar
are employed to duplicate the effect of the bitter orange on the meat. Another key ingredient employed in all pibil recipes is achiote (annatto
), which gives the meat its characteristic color.
Traditionally, cochinita pibil was buried in a pit with a fire at the bottom to roast it.
The Mayan word "pibil" means "buried".
In the movie Once Upon a Time in Mexico,
puerco pibil is a favorite dish of the main character, Agent Sands
, and the character's obsession with the dish is the feature of several scenes. He feels so strongly about the food that he murders any cook who makes it too well (in order to "maintain balance" in the country). A recipe for puerco pibil appears as a bonus feature
on the DVD
edition of the film. The director
, Robert Rodriguez
, provides a recipe and instruction on how to cook the dish.