Our Cochinita Pibil recipe is for a traditional Yucatan dish. One of Gourmetsleuth's readers, Ricardo Batista, told us "Cochinita Pibil is perhaps the dish for which I get the best reviews. Everyone seems to love this dish which originated in the state of Yucatan in Mexico."
You can also use our own achiote paste substiute recipe if you don't want to use purchased achiote paste.
Cut the onion in thin, long slices. Add the onion and the bay leaf to a small heavy sauce pan and cover with a mixture of half red wine vinegar and half water, just enough to cover the onion. Boil the onion for 10 minutes or until fully cooked.
Put the onion mix in the refrigerator, it should be served cold. This is best done overnight.
Cut the pork meat in chunks and discard big pieces of fat, leave some fat as it adds to the flavor.
In a separate container, mix half a cup of red wine vinegar, one and a half cups of water, and some salt. Add a teaspoon of chicken bouillon to the water mix, and dissolve the achiote paste tablet in it. This may take a while to mix.
Set a heavy frying pan with tall sides on the burner over medium-high heat. Add the pork and the achiote-water mix. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 3-4 hours or until the meat is very soft and pulls apart easily.
Once the pork is cooked, pull apart the meat and cook for a little while longer, add a little water whenever necessary to keep the meat covered
Heat the tortillas and enjoy, Cochinita Pibil is served in a plate where everyone makes "tacos" from it. To each tortilla, add some of the Cochinita, some pickled onions and Habanero sauce. The tortilla should get a little wet with the Cochinita sauce. It should not be dry.