Slow Cooker Pork Pibil with Blue Tortillas, Green Rice, Black Beans and Pink Onions

If you’ve ever been to Wahaca, you’ll probably have tried the Pork Pibil: a spicy pulled-pork served on corn tortillas with pink onions. We bought the book specifically to get this recipe!

The recipe in the book cooks for 4 hours in a low oven, but we’re going to slow cook it for 10 hours so it’s really falling apart.

The recipe is as follows:

  • 3.5kg pork neck
  • 2 scotch bonnet (habenero) chillies (one whole, one de-seeded and minced)
  • 1 onion
  • 60g butter
  • 1 tsp allspice berries
  • 2 tsp jeera (cumin) seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp mixed peppercorns
  • 100g anchiote paste
  • 3 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 500ml freshly squeezed orange juice

We had some problems getting all the ingredients. We couldn’t find pork neck, and when I checked what Slow Cooker Revolution uses for pulled pork they wanted pork butt, which I couldn’t find either. Then I found out that what Americans call pork butt is actually shoulder… does that mean getting kicked in the butt means getting kicked in the shoulder?¬†Anyway, I found I could get pork shoulder.

The other problem was¬†achiote paste. Despite MexGrocer being at The BBC Good Food Show yesterday, I couldn’t get any as the were only selling cooking sauces. Thankfully we found a substitute we could make from store-cupboard standards.

So we started by making the achiote paste by mixing together:

  • 3 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

IMG_1291The marinade starts by toasting the spices until they just start to smell.

IMG_1292Then these get ground up into a powder.

IMG_1294The rest of the marinade ingredients (everything but orange juice, butter & chilli) goes in the food processor.

IMG_1295A few pulses to break things up, then let it run while the orange juice gets poured in.

IMG_1297The recipe calls for 3.5kg of pork neck, but as it’s just the two of us I think 2 mini shoulder joints should be enough!

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We removed the fat and cut in to similar sized chunks.

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This then went in the marinade and in to the fridge over night.

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The next morning we put the marinaded pork in the slow cooker along with the butter and chilli. As well as the chopped up chilli we added a whole one as well, as we like the heat!

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The recipe says you only need 3/4 of the marinade to cook in, ans that’s for the fiull 3.5kg of meat. But as we’re slow cooking we’ll keep the extra liquid so things don’t dry out.

So this cooks on slow for 10 hours…

While it’s cooking we made various side dishes, plus tortillas. For the tortillas I used some blue masa harina I’d got cheaply… Turns out you get what you pay for! It was really sticky and I had to add loads of extra masa to stop it sticking to the press… and blue tortillas just look odd!

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After cooking the pork gets shredded with forks.

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Then we add guacamole (avocados, lime juice, chilli, coriander, salt & pepper), pink onions (red onions pickled for a few hours in lime & orange juice, coriander, scotch bonnet, salt & pepper), black beans (black beans, tinned tomatoes, onions, carrots, celery, allspice, cumin, coriander, beef stock, thyme, oregano, chioptle powder), green rice (basmati rice, boiled in water with chopped coriander), and the blue tortillas.

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And well… OMG! It tastes amazing! It’s just like the restaurant version, just a succulent, and spicy, and delicious!

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  • 2kg pork shoulder (butt)
  • 2 scotch bonnet (habenero) chillies (one whole, one de-seeded and minced)
  • 60g butter, cut in to cubes
  • 1 tsp allspice berries
  • 2 tsp jeera (cumin) seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp mixed peppercorns
  • 100g anchiote paste (see below)
  • 3 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp fine sea salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 500ml freshly squeezed orange juice (about large 5 oranges)

If, like us, you can’t get anchiote in a hurry, here’s a substitute:

  • 3 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

Just mix all that up in a bowl to get your fake anchiote paste.

Toast the allspice, jeera, cloves & peppercorns then grind to dust. Add with the anchiote paste to a food processor along with onion, garlic, vinegar, oregano, bay leaves, salt & olive oil. Pulse to chop up, then add orange juice while running.

Remove fat from pork, but into equal size pieces, add to the liquid and marinade in the fridge over night.

In the morning add pork and marinade to slow cooker, add butter and chillies.

Cook for 10 hours on slow. Shred pork and serve on tortillas with rainbow sides.

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