Monday, 23 March 2015

Wahaca's Pork Pibil

Pork Pibil is one of our fail-safe dishes when we eat at Wahaca. No matter what we choose, you can guarantee this will be on the list! When I saw the recipe in Wahaca Mexican Food at Home I couldn't wait to try it out, but alas the gods were against me - I needed to get hold of one vital ingredient; achiote* paste. MexGrocer came to the rescue via Santa, and in my Christmas stocking there it was (and boy could we smell it!).

Finally the chance came to give it a try. A paste of onions, garlic, achiote paste, oil, cider vinegar, oregano, bay, cloves, allspice, cumin, salt and peppercorns is blended together and then loosened with freshly squeezed orange juice. The recipe uses a pork neck joint, but in the absence of that in our local shop I went with pork shoulder. This is marinaded overnight and looks delicious already...

The cooking process is very simple, tip everything into a pan, add a chopped (hot) chilli and a nob of butter and bring to a simmer. Then cover tightly and slow bake in a very low oven for 3-4 hours. In the meantime you can make your pink pickled onions (which really are worth doing); mix a thinly sliced red onion with the juices of a whole lime and half an orange, add a de-seeded chopped (hot) chilli, and leave for a couple of hours to do its thing.

After a lot of waiting and an amazing smell permeating the house, you end up with this; shred the meat, and serve with rice, tortillas and your pickled onions as a garnish. It was well worth the wait!

*interesting fact, whilst typing this I happened to randomly have Food Unwrapped on in the background, and discovered that the seed (annatto) which gives Red Leicester its colour is also the seed of the achiote tree!