Cochinita Pibil is a pork shank seasoned with Yucatán spices, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed-baked until very tender. Fresh pork shank, also called fresh pork hock (not to be mistaken with ham hock, which is smoked, not fresh), may need to be special ordered. If you can’t find any, use lamb shank instead.
Banana leaves, usually frozen in one-pound packages, can be found in Mexican and Asian markets. The leaves are about 30 to 40 inches long, and are cut to size needed to wrap the meat. Achiote seasoning paste is found in Mexican markets. Serve with black beans and fresh salsa.
Cochinita Pibil - Pork Shank, Yucatán StylePrint This
- 4 tablespoons Yucatán Red Seasoning Paste
- 2 pork shanks (1 lb each)
- 2 banana leaves, thawed if frozen
- 2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh epazote or cilantro
- 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 teasoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- Prepare the seasoning paste. Then, cut the tough outside layer of skin off the shank. Cover the pork all over with the seasoning paste. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put 1 sheet of foil large enough to completely wrap 1 pork shank onto a flat surface, and cut the banana leaf to about the same size. Put the banana leaf on top of the foil. Lay the pork shank in the center of the banana leaf. Top the meat with half of the tomatoes, half the epazote, and half the pepper slices. Sprinkle with half the vinegar and salt. Wrap the pork completely in the in the banana leaf. Then fold the foil around the outside to make a tight seal.
- Put the package on a large baking sheet. Repeat with other shank. Cook in the oven 2 hours or until the meat is very tender when pierced with a fork. Open one package to test tenderness and drain off the excess fat. Serve the shanks while hot, on the plate with the cooked tomatoes and peppers.