Pork shoulder, citrus and spices come together in this super-easy crock pot dish that I guarantee will be a huge punch of flavor. I adapted the recipe from one I found on a pressure cooker website and had to modify the achiote paste portion using dry ingredients from scratch because I couldn’t find it at my local market. Puerco pibil (roast pork shoulder with achiote and spices) comes from the Yucutan region of Mexico. It’s traditionally cooked in banana leaves but since I didn’t have those (nor did I have a pit to bury it in – the traditional way of cooking puerco pibil) I just threw everything in the crock pot and let it go for about 8 hours on low. The next morning I was greeted with a savory broth and fork tender pork.
Prep time: 10 min Cook time: 8 hours (crock pot) Makes: ~4 pounds
- 1 medium onion
- 15 ounce can of diced fire-roasted tomato
- 2 Tbsp annato powder (sub paprika if you can’t find annato)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 5 lb (~2.5 kg) pork shoulder roast (I bought two smaller roasts)
- 1 orange, juiced
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp salt
- In a small bowl, mix the annato, cumin, black pepper, 1 tsp salt and pinch of nutmeg. Stir in a bit of water until the spices have a thick, paste-like consistency.
- Slice the onion and add to a skillet with a spoonful of fat (coconut oil, etc) over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes until translucent, then add the can of tomatoes. Cook for a few more minutes until softened.
- Prepare the pork by trimming off any large pieces of external fat (if there is fat on the inside of the meat, most of it will cook out). Slice each roast into long pieces about 1.5″ wide. Season with salt.
- In the crockpot, mix the juice of one orange with the cider vinegar. Add the annato / spice paste and stir until dissolved. Lay the pork into the liquid. Top with the tomato / onion mixture.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours (longer is okay, too). Skim the excess fat off the top while it’s still warm or refrigerate and the fat will solidify on top and can be scooped off.
- This was delicious with a couple of eggs for breakfast!