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February 1, 2008

Robert Rodriguez's Puerco Pibil

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Puerco Pibil

I make this super delicious dish at least twice a year since I first saw it featured in Robert Rodriguez's 2003 movie ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO with Antonio Banderas as El Mariachi, Salma Hayek, and Johnny Depp. Johnny Depp's character loves this dish, orders it all the time. He deems the pork dish is so good that he has to shoot the cook, and after eating he went to the kitchen and shot the cook. Yeah, it's crazy, but it's Johnny Depp, how can I not like the movie, which is really really good, IMHO. Robert shows how to prepare his recipe in one of the extra features in the DVD, watch it at the bottom of the post.

Puerco Pibil is very versatile. You can have it with plain white rice, or shredded in tortillas with some salsa and avocado, or as taco filling. Good to have while watching Eli kick Tom's butt this coming Sunday, just kidding. I'm not a sports fan and I don't care who wins the super bowl.

Robert Rodriguez's Puerco Pibil
5 pounds pork butt, cut into 2 inch cubes
banana leaves
½ cup orange juice
½ cup vinegar
2 tablespoons salt
juice of 5 lemons
8 cloves garlic
2 habanero peppers, chopped
1 tablespoon tequila
annatto paste: in a coffee grinder finely grind 5 T annatto seeds, 2 tsp cumin, 1 T black peppercorns, 8 pieces allspice, and ½ tsp cloves
  • In a blender, blend annatto paste and the rest of the ingredients except banana leaves and pork. In a large bowl mix pork and annatto mixture until pork is evenly coated. Line a deep roasting pan with banana leaves, put the pork mixture and cover with another layer of banana leaves. Cover tightly with tin foil and bake in a 325° F oven for 4 hours.

Here is the video of Robert Rodriguez making Puerco Pibil



28 comments:

Ruy said...

Whoah! Awesome!!!
Bookmarked!

Dhanggit said...

OH MY GOD!!! .i wouldnt mind being trapped in island with Johnny Depp plus a serving of this dish!! delicious...i'll do this for sure..

oggi said...

Ruy it is! The seasonings are just perfect, I drown my rice with the sauce and since it's slow cooked the meat is very tender and flakes easily.

Dhanggit, Johnny Depp yes!:D

Dhanggit said...

is it possible to replace the pork butt??

Sidney said...

Taquila... it must be good!
Only ONE T? ;-)

oggi said...

Dhanggit you can use pork shoulder or cut up boneless chicken with skin. I think cubed stew beef is also good.

Sidney I guess there's no harm in adding more or maybe take sips while the stew is cooking.:D

Marvin said...

Putting a recipe as an extra feature on a DVD is perhaps the greatest idea of all time! I'm adding that movie to my netflix queue ASAP.

oggi said...

Marvin I was surprised when I was watching the extras and immediately wrote the recipe down. I agree it's such a great idea.:)

joey said...

This dish sounds awesome...slow cooked pork -- yum! And the spice mix sounds delicious...and of course the tequila! :)

oggi said...

joey oh yes this dish is delicious. Go ahead and add more tequila!:)

Jeff said...

I know it's been several months since this was first published, but I just discovered that your recipe omits a very important step. That is, you must let the pork marinate for a minimum of 4 hours before roasting. Most recipes call for 6 to 24 hours.

I am preparing Puerco Pibil for a barbecue festival on Saturday.

oggi said...

Jeff, in the DVD, Robert Rodriguez does not say to marinate the pork. I don't know if this is deliberate or maybe he just forgot to include the step. I have made this dish many many times already without marinating first, and yet the finished dish is very very flavorful and have the right balance of acidity, saltiness, and spice. If he says I need to marinate 4 hours or overnight I still would not do it considering the amount of lemon juice which I think will make the dish on the sour side if marinated. I'll try marinating next time with maybe a quarter of the pork in the recipe just to compare the taste. Thanks.:)

BTW, I checked other recipes online, most require marinating and a few like mine do not.

Deanna said...

Que Rico Puerco! My son saw this video and he is making this dish tonight. I can't wait to try it. I love the Menu idea. Well done. Thanks for posting it.

Anonymous said...

If you live in the south, especially Texas, you can usually find "pork carnitas" packaged for grilling at a very reasonable price. In my case, it's ALWAYS been cheaper than buying a pork butt to cut up ... and best part is they are also boneless. They take a boston butt or picnic ham and cut it into pieces approx. 3"x4-5" so you only have to cut them in half and toss them into the sauce. Pork carnitas are cuts designed to be grilled, but they work fantastically in this dish as well. Oh yeah, and they tend to also be cheaper than buying a whole butt to cut down (carnitas run $1-$1.50/lb down here vs. $2+/lb for a whole butt for roasting.
Making it again tonight, I usually do puerco pibil at least once a month since I LOVE this dish!

Anonymous said...

If you live in the south, especially Texas, you can usually find "pork carnitas" packaged for grilling at a very reasonable price. In my case, it's ALWAYS been cheaper than buying a pork butt to cut up ... and best part is they are also boneless. They take a boston butt or picnic ham and cut it into pieces approx. 3"x4-5" so you only have to cut them in half and toss them into the sauce. Pork carnitas are cuts designed to be grilled, but they work fantastically in this dish as well. Oh yeah, and they tend to also be cheaper than buying a whole butt to cut down (carnitas run $1-$1.50/lb down here vs. $2+/lb for a whole butt for roasting.
Making it again tonight, I usually do puerco pibil at least once a month since I LOVE this dish!

Anonymous said...

half of the ingredients cant be found in my part of louisiana :(

oggi said...

A, that's too bad. Try looking in a Hispanic store.:)

Anonymous said...

I make this a couple of times a year. Instead of baking, I throw it all in the slow cooker for 8 to 10 hours.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I use at least 4 Habanero peppers...we like it spicey!

Anonymous said...

I could find the ingrediaents, except the habeneros in my market in rural Japan - gonna do it with Pork shoulder, as I can say that in Japanese. LOL Looking forward to it. Glad I have an excuse to get the Tequiila out.

Sandy in Asheville said...

I ended up finding annatto seeds in my asian grocery. They're apparently used in Philippine cooking a lot, so maybe they're of Spanish origin.

oggi said...

Sandy, yes we use annatto a lot in Filipino cooking both as flavoring and colorant. In the Philippines it is called achuete or achiote from ancient Aztec achiotl. I believe it was brought from Mexico to the Philippines by the Spanish.

Anonymous said...

We've been making this since we saw the DVD a couple of years ago (6 to be exact).

This dish rocks--you will not be disappointed.

Anonymous said...

This dish is FABULOUS! Can't get enough of it... yum yum yum

Scott Smith said...

I've been making this since the DVD first came out years ago. Great dish, great recipe. Super simple and super tasty! Make it and amaze your friends with your cooking prowess.

Anonymous said...

I have made this dish, following the DVD recipe, step by step, with "marinating" for about 20 minutes, ( just the time to get the roasting pan ready with the banana leaves, and it turned out beyond any expectations ! We had flour tortillas ready with all the fixings, and made bunch of tacos for a bunch of people. It was absolutely delight ! We are making it again for New Year's Eve party !
( TexasDad in Austin, Texas )

Anonymous said...

this is a wonderful dish! my boyfriend especially loves it, he likes spicy. i have trouble with finding some of the whole spices in my area, and don't have money for a coffee grinder for one dish so i use ground spices. the equivalent for those with the same issue... 6 allspice berries=1/4 or 1/2 tsp ground allspice, 1tsp whole cloves= 3/4tsp ground cloves, 1tsp cumin seeds= 1/2 tsp ground cumin.

Anonymous said...

Pollo pibil is also very popular in the Yucatan. You can use chicken but I don't think you would cook it nearly as long. I haven't looked for the recipe but you can probably find one on Rick Bayless's site.

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