Cochinita pibil

...or roast, suckling pig, the Mexican equivalent of kalua pig. It's citrus-braised pork in this version because it's too inconvenient to cook it in banana leaves in the back yard. This is amazing. It can be used in tacos, but I made the most delicious chimichangas with it. You could even plate it up by itself and serve it as barbecued pork.


2½-3lb boneless pork shoulder butt, in 1" chunks
1 tbsp oil
1 onion, fine-chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp cinnamon
⅓ cup tomato paste
1½ cups water
¼ cup frozen orange-juice concentrate, thawed
3 tbsp white vinegar
1½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce
5 bay leaves


1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle and preheat to 300°.

2. Heat oil in oven-capable pot.

3. Add onion until clarified, 4 minutes.

4. Add garlic, cumin, oregano, allspice and cinnamon to bloom, 30 seconds.

5. Add tomato paste, then cook stirring constantly to darken, 45 seconds.

6. Add water, orange-juice concentrate, 2 tbsp vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, bay, salt, pepper.

7. Scrape fond to dissolve in water.

8. Add pork (unbrowned) and bring to boil.

9. Transfer to oven, uncovered (to brown), until tender, about 2 hours, stirring half-way through. What you're doing here is making pot-roast: reducing the pork's connective tissue to collagen without drying it out.

10. Transfer to stove top, discard bay. Mash slightly until shredded depending on usage.

11. Bring to simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce to medium-low and reduce sauce until evaporated, 3-5 minutes.

12. Stir in remaining vinegar, season with salt and pepper.

13. Serve in tacos, burritos or chimichangas.