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Pork in Banana Leaves

Pork and bananas – it seems quite an experiment of combining such two different tastes and textures. But with this Mexican recipe, a new perspective is born: that of mixing ingredients while complementing each other into one of the most flavored and intense Mexican recipes.

Combining citric fruits with pork makes everyone think of a special, complex and exotic taste, and this is exactly the taste this Mexican recipe will have. It also includes achiote paste, one of the most important ingredients in this traditional recipe, by its Mexican name – Cochinita Pibil.
This traditional slow-roasted pork dish comes from the Yucatán region of Mexico gains its color from the achiote, a sweet and peppery fruits, from which a yellowish orange color is extracted. This fruit is also used when coloring Cheddar cheese.

Cochinita Pibil, also known as pork in banana leaves, is, as said before, a traditional Mexican dish, which involves marinating the pork meat into acidic citric juice, and roasting the meat wrapped in banana leaves. Te recipe can include many pork meats, such as baby pork, butt roast (which is the pork shoulder), or pork loin. The reason for which the meat is previously marinated is that the meat becomes tenderer, thus tough pieces of pork are allowed to be used.

For eight to ten serving, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup achiote paste
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 8 dried bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 medium white onions, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 4 lbs. pork butt, cut in 3 inch cubes
  • 5 roma tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 Squares bitter chocolate, chopped
  • 1 pound banana leaves, softened over a low flame
  • 4 chile pepper, roasted, peeled & sliced into strips

  • The pork meat needs to be first marinated, before actually cooking it. For marinating it, take a bowl and prepare a mixture of the achiote paste, the citrus juices, the bay leaves, the garlic, cinnamon, salt, pepper and cumin seeds. Use a fork to mash them together, and then add the pork. Coat it evenly with the mixture and then put it to marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours.

    In a preheated oven (300F degrees), char the onions into a dry cast iron skillet, until they have blackened on both sides, then do the same with the tomato slices. Now take a large baking dish and line it with a layer of banana leaves.

    Put another layer, of pork meat this time, arrange even, and then add the third layer, consisting of the tomatoes, onions, chilies and the marinade sauce. Add another line of banana leaves to cover it all, then wrap the dish in foil and insert it into the preheated oven. Bake it for 3 hours, at least, until the pork meat has become tender and moist.
    Serve with white rice and pickles.

    Tags: mexican food, banana leaves pork, mexican recipes, cooking pork, pork recipe, pork recipes, pork, banana, bananas, banana recipes

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