Delicious Cochinita Pibil Nachos
Originally coming from the Yucatán Peninsula, cochinita pibil (or puerco pibil) is traditional Mexican pulled pork that’s flavored with a mixtures of tart citrus juices, mild spices, and achiote paste. Similar to the beloved carnitas, it’s juicy, tender and rich in flavor, and smells amazing.
Now traditionally this dish is marinated and cooked for several hours, so there is caution to plan ahead. There are recipes out there that give you the option to apply this into a pressure cooker to speed up the process, but we suggest taking your time with this one for the best results.
For this particular recipe, you’ll be using your puerco to construct delicious cochinita pibil nachos. Really no difference to when you make traditional nachos at home, which means if done right should come out just as yummy.
Ingredients for this are fairly easy to come by, especially the achiote paste. With time and just a little bit of patience, you’ll be sinking your teeth in some delicious cochinita pibil nachos in no time.
FUN FACT: Unlike today’s use of modern technology, traditionally cochinita pibil was wrapped in banana leaves and smoked in a fire pit. Hence where the name derives from, cochinita (meaning “baby pig”) and pibil (meaning “buried” or “underground”).
Original Photography by Spencer David
Delicious Cochinita Pibil Recipe
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 oz achiote paste
- 3 lbs pork shoulder or pork butt
- Tortilla chips
- Guacamole or your favorite queso
- Onions, Tomatoes, and cilantro to garnish
- Either the night before or the morning of, combine the orange and lime juice, achiote paste, and salt in a blender or food processor. Set aside
- Take the pork and cut into sizable chunks (about 3 sq inches), while still keeping the fat intact (needed for the braising process). Transfer meat into a glass or stainless steel container, and then pour the achiote marinade mixture all over the meat and combine well. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 325°F. In a large casserole, triple layer the inside bottom and its side with aluminum foil to keep juices in. Pour the pork and the marinade in the casserole and tightly cover with the foil. Transfer into the oven and bake at 325°F for at least 3 hours.
- Around the 3 hour mark, check the pork for tenderness. If desired texture is reached, remove casserole from over and unravel the foil. Transfer meat to a bowl and using two forks, shred the meat into bite size pieces. Any excess fat you can no trim off if desired.
- Gather your tortilla chips and apply desired amount of meat on top. Garnish with guacamole, queso, onion, cilantro, tomato, and/or a combination of your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
- If you're not prepping to use the pork for nachos, the meat also goes well over rice with garnishes of pickled onions, cilantro, and crema. In addition these will also make for great pork tacos!