Originally posted November 16, 2021

Slow Cooker Cochinita Pibil

Slow Cooker Cochinita Pibil by Humuhumu

photo by Humuhumu

I don't know what authentic cochinita pibil is like. I had a sandwich with cochinita pibil at a grocery store in San Francisco, and wanted to try making it. I cobbled this together from other recipes I found online, which also seemed to come from white women with questionable experience with the real deal. So there's your warning: go seek out someone who knows what they're talking about when it comes to cochinita pibil. If my recipe looks tasty to you, cool, go ahead and try it.

I use this to make tacos, garnished with Pickled Red Onions.


  • 6 lbs boneless pork shoulder
  • 34 g Diamond salt (2 tablespoons?)
  • 4 oz red achiote paste
  • 3 oz fresh grapefruit juice
  • 4 oz fresh orange juice
  • 8 oz fresh lime juice
  • 4 oz apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp Penzey's salsa & pico spice blend
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 10 whole allspice berries


Marinate the pork overnight:

Cut the pork shoulder into 2-inch chunks. Leave the fat on. Put the pork in a non-reactive container.

Mix the salt, achiote paste, juices, vinegar, and oil in a blender until smooth. Pour the liquid over the pork, and immediately rinse the blender (the achiote can stain). Add the remaining ingredients, mix well, cover, and keep in the fridge overnight: at least 6 hours, and up to 24 hours.

Cook the pork:

Put the pork and marinade into a large slow cooker. Use the low setting and cook for 8 hours, until the pork is falling apart.

Shred the pork:

When the pork is ready, pull it all out into a pan using a slotted spoon, avoiding the garlic cloves and spices (pull any of those out to toss). Pull the pork into shreds using two forks. Pour the sauce over the pork to make it wet.

Leftovers freeze well.



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