Photo by Tam West
This popular slow-roasted Mexican pork dish, originating from the Yucatan Peninsula, is truly one of the best ways to cook pork — and use for your tortillas. This particular method and recipe was made even more famous when it was featured in the Robert Rodriguez film Once Upon a Time in Mexico starring Johnny Depp. The unique rusty orange colour of the dish comes from the annatto or achiote seeds harvested from a shrub; the flavour is uniquely earthy and peppery. Annatto seeds can be found at spice shops, good food stores and delicatessens.
|2 tsp||Cumin seeds|
|1 Tbsp||Black peppercorn|
|1 tsp||Allspice berries, whole|
|4 Tbsp||Annatto seeds, also known as achiote|
|2||Habanero chilli, fresh or dried, seeds removed and finely chopped|
|½ cup||Pineapple juice|
|½ cup||Orange juice|
|½ cup||Apple cider vinegar|
|8 cloves||Garlic, finely grated|
|2 Tbsp||Brown sugar|
|2½ kgs||Pork shoulder, diced into 6cm pieces|
|1||Banana leaf, optional|
- Grind the cumin seeds, whole peppercorns, whole cloves, whole allspice berries and annatto seeds in a mortar and pestle or with a coffee or spice grinder.
- Mix the fresh ground spices with the habanero chilli, pineapple and orange juice, citrus juices, cider vinegar, garlic, sugar, tequilla and salt.
- Add diced pork and massage marinade into meat. Cover and leave in the fridge for four hours or, for maximum flavour, overnight.
- Line a roasting tray with foil then lay a banana leaf on top. Place pork and all marinade on top then fold leaf and foil over and seal the edges completely to form a tightly closed envelope. Roast at 140C for 3½ hours.
- Allow to rest for half an hour before opening, then squeeze over extra fresh lime juice to finish before serving with plain steamed rice. Accompany with guacamole and Mexican slaw.
More of Geoff's Mexican recipes for casual cook ups