Cochinita Pibil is a traditional Mayan dish from the Yucatan. Cochinita means small pig or suckling pig and Pibil has to do with the cooking method. A Píib is an earth oven, essentially, a hole in the ground lined with stones. A fire is made and the meat is buried wrapped in banana leaves and slow roasted overnight. The meat is marinated in achiote or annatto paste, aromatics and sour Seville oranges. The result is a tender and succulent meat that is best served with fresh corn tortillas and spicy pickled red onions.
Since I can’t really dig a hole where I live, I opt for a Dutch oven and my offset smoker as a Píib. I can get the annatto paste at my local Tienda but the Seville oranges are almost impossible to find, so I use a combo of grapefruit, orange and lime juice to mimic the sour orange profile. I also use a healthy dose of Melinda’s Fire Roasted Garlic and Habanero. It brings more roasted garlic flavor and spice to the meat and we like it spicy.
I serve mine with homemade corn tortillas, spicy pickled red onions, lime wedges and a little shredded queso fresco. The queso fresco is optional and not traditional, but I love the salty bite it adds.