Puerco Pibil

September 10, 2005

A plate with pork on rice and a large green pepper.

Ever since I watched the Ten Minute Cooking School by Robert Rodriguez on the Once Upon a Time in Mexico DVD, I knew that I wanted to make that dish. In the movie, Johnny Depp’s character eats it constantly and even shoots the chef once because it’s too good.

So tonight I start, my first cooking endeavour, which has been a long time coming. I’ve been meaning to make this for a while, and I’ve finally rounded up all the ingredients. Wish me luck. I’ll update later on how it went.

Update: Really good. Kinda screwed up at first by adding a bit too much salt. So a counter-measure was used (a tomato paste) and it was absolutely delicious. With rice, it’s so good. Looking forward to making it again and improve upon it.

Puerco Pibil Recipe


  • 5 Tbs. annato seeds
  • 2 Tbs. salt
  • 1 Tbs. peppercorns
  • 8 whole allspice
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. whole cloves
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 habañeros (deveined, seeds removed)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • juice of 5 lemons
  • splash of tequila
  • 5 lb. pork butt, cut into 2” cubes
  • 1 lb. banana leaves


  1. Combine all whole spices in a coffee grinder or spice mill. Grind them well, to a fine powder.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine spice powder, garlic, habañeros, orange juice, vinegar, lemon juice, and tequila.
  3. Place the pork in a large ziplock bag and add the marinade; shake well. Marinate for 12 to 24 hours, shaking 2 or 3 times.
  4. Preheat oven to 325º. Line a baking pan with the banana leaves - you will wrap the pork in them, so be sure to overlap them well and leave enough so the edges will overlap, making a tight “package.” Dump the pork and marinade into the pan; wrap with banana leaves. Put more leaves on the top. Cover the whole thing with tinfoil and seal the edges so no steam escapes.
  5. Bake for 4 hours or until pork is tender and falling apart.
  6. Serve over a bed of white or Mexican rice. Garnish with a tomato wedge and a fresh jalapeño or serrano pepper.

Prep. time: 15 minutes; Marinate time: overnight; Cook time: 4 hours; 8 servings