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Pork Shoulder: Puerco Pibil

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  • Pork Shoulder: Puerco Pibil

    This is my favorite primal recipe. It makes a huge amount. My non-Primal roommate is a great cook and he got me hooked on this. I'm not sure where he got his original recipe but it's loosely based on a Mayan dish that's cooked in banana leaves. I eat it with salad greens (it makes a great addition to a BAS when it's cold), pickled onions with cinnamon and/or cloves, sour cream, avocado, cilantro, and for a treat, pineapple salsa if I haven't had other fruit that day. It's a really great dish for a party--if you serve it with rice and/or corn tortillas to non-primals, it goes a very long way and everyone loves it. Well, not the vegans. Pork shoulder is a very cheap cut of meat.

    Don't be scared off by the orange juice...Once you cook the pork you end up with tons of liquids, most of which doesn't get eaten.

    5-10 pounds pork shoulder or picnic pork, cut into fist-sized chunks (the marinade seems to make enough for almost any amount)

    5 tablespoons annato seeds
    2 teaspoons cumin seeds
    1 tablespoon whole black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
    8 whole allspice berries
    8-10 dried arbol peppers, or whatever peppers you have around, adjusted to your heat-liking...this type is just what we happen to keep around

    1/2 cup orange juice
    1/2 cup white vinegar
    8 garlic cloves
    2 tablespoons salt
    juice of 4-5 limes

    Grind up all the spices until very fine. I use a coffee grinder. You can use a mortar and pestle if you're less lazy. Mix with the liquid ingredients to make a paste. Cover the pork with the paste and let sit (in the fridge) for 4-6 hours. I've marinated it all day or for less than an hour, and it's always been fine. Put it in a Dutch oven, covered, and cook in a 325 degree oven for 4 hours. In the past, I used to separate the fat from the rest of the liquid, reduce the less fatty liquid on the stovetop, and then add the meat back to the sauce, but last night after posting this, I skpped this step and it was just as good. I just took the meat out and shreded some of it, and left some of it in bigger chunks without any sauce. It has so much flavor from sitting in all the oily sauce while cooking. Delicious!
    Last edited by superdeluxe; 06-16-2010, 09:43 AM. Reason: made recipe easier
    Il faut vivre et non pas seulement exister.

  • #2
    Pickled Onions

    I'm crazy about these onions. No precise amounts. And yes, I'm still using some sugar in these to cut the acidity; you can try a different sweetener or leave it out all together. Very little of the liquid is consumed.

    Red onions sliced into thin rings
    Equal amounts of cider and white vinegar, enough to nearly cover onions
    small amount of sugar or other sweetener to taste, optional
    salt to taste
    cinnamon stick or a few whole cloves

    Cook red onions in boiling vinegar and spices for 1-2 minutes, until slight soft and turning pink. Put into a jar and let cool. Remove cinammon stick after a couple hours unless you want it really cinnamon-y. They last several weeks in the refrigerator.
    Il faut vivre et non pas seulement exister.


    • #3
      Hey you went to Maccu Picchu! I'm Peruvian and I haven't (yet) visited but someday!

      Regarding your recipe I'll have to give it a go soon, I got some pork shoulder... since pigs eat a diverse diet, what would pastured pigs eat? Serious question ...
      I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.


      • #4
        I think they'd probably eat grasses, flowers, roots, insects, etc.

        I loved Machu Picchu. Although I did not love four days of walking and camping in the pouring rain! I spent a couple of weeks in Cusco taking Spanish classes before the Inca Trail. Met so many great people. I can't wait to go back. I need a primal Chupe de Camarrones (sp?). I guess I could just leave out the potato and corn.
        Il faut vivre et non pas seulement exister.