Yucatán Citrus Pulled Pork, Cochinita Pibil

Yucatán Citrus Pulled Pork, Cochinita Pibil

It is a mid-winters day in Pittsburgh. The wind is howling, the sky is grey, and the dogs are curled up napping by the fire. This is classic roast weather. Yucatán Citrus Pulled Pork, Cochinita Pibil, is a vibrant version of pulled pork that takes advantage of citrus season to bring the spicy, fresh, and tangy flavors of the Yucatán to your table. Our non-traditional take on this classic feast dish simplifies the technique for the home cook, forgoing pit-roasting and the often hard-to-find ingredients, including annatto and banana leaves. Yucatán Citrus Pulled Pork is easy to make, and works beautifully on tacos, over rice, with potatoes, or in sandwiches. 


Yield: Serves 6 on tacos, 4 as a main


   Roast Pork:

  • 3-4 pounds pork butt roast (bone-in preferred), trimmed of extra fat
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ancho chile
  • 2 medium onions, diced

   Citrus Sauce:

  • 3 oranges, juiced
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 3 lemons, juiced
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • Zest from 1 lime
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 bunches cilantro
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1-2 jalapeno(s)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground ancho chile
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne


  1. For the Roast Pork: Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Mix salt and ancho in a small bowl and sprinkle over the pork. Rub the salt and ancho onto all sides of the meat.
  3. Spread diced onions across the bottom of a medium roasting pan or casserole. Place the meat on top of the onions, fattest side up, and slide the roasting dish into the oven, uncovered.
  4. Roast for 1 hour, or until the meat is well browned.
  5. Reduce heat to 350, cover, and bake for an additional 4 hours. The meat should be extraordinarily tender and easily fall apart with a fork.
  6. Shred the meat with a fork, and discard any bone, excess fat or connective tissue.
  7. For the Citrus Sauce: Place in a food processor or blender the citrus juices and zests, garlic, cilantro, oil, jalapenos, salt, Mexican oregano, ancho, honey, pepper, cumin, and cayenne. Blend the sauce until well combined.
  8. Dump the citrus sauce over the shredded pork, and mix thoroughly. Garnish with fresh citrus and jalapeno slices. Serve immediately or keeps well in the fridge for up to a week.