Pedro Medina Casanova’s Cochinita Pibil Recipe

By / Premium Content / April 16th, 2023 / 3

By Pedro Medina Casanova  

Hailing from the sun-drenched Yucatán Peninsula—on Mexico’s easterly tip—Cochinita Pibil is one of the most popular regional dishes. First, the pork is marinated with sour orange and achiote, then it’s wrapped in banana leaves and buried underground in a píib (or pit) to roast slowly. The meat is so juicy, perfect to be savoured in a delicious taco with pickled onion and its Xnipec (Yucatecan spicy salsa). This is an easier-to-replicate-at-home version of the classic dish, using an oven instead of the classic fire pit.  


  • 11 lb pork shoulder (cut into approximately 1 lb pieces)
  • 1 lb achiote (annatto seed) seasoning
  • 1 lb salt
  • 1 L sour orange juice (naranja agria)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 banana leaves
  • 1 lb pork lard
  • 6 1/4 cups water


  • In an 8-inch-deep hotel pan or crock pot, place the banana leaves and spread the lard.
  • In a blender, place the annatto seed seasoning, orange juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Blitz for 1 minute.
  • Then, one by one, take the pork pieces and make some shallow slits for the seasoning to penetrate. Coat each piece with the seasoning from the blender. 
  • Place the pork pieces into the hotel pan or crock pot until it is full. Be careful not to add all the seasoning at once; marinate the pork piece by piece. 
  • Add water. 
  • Cover the hotel pan or crock pot with another banana leaf and aluminum foil to act as a lid.
  • Bake at 200˚C for the first 2 hours, then 170˚C for another 2 hours. 
  • Check every 2 hours to see if a little more water is necessary.
  • Once the pork easily falls apart, prepare an Xnipec (see recipe below).
  • Serve with warm corn tortillas. 



  • 1 White or red onion, chopped
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 Habanero chillis, chopped


Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

About Pedro Medina Casanova:

Pedro Medina Casanova is the son of La Violetera restaurant owners Pedro Medina and Aracelly Casanova in Mérida (Yucatán, Mexico). Growing up in the family business—and receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Biology—he has worked alongside his wife to merge the menus of La Violetera and Taqueria La Lupita. The chef has helped break the Guinness World Record for the longest line of tacos and has appeared in both Samin Nosrat’s Salt Fat Acid Heat and Taco Chronicles (season 2) on Netflix, as well as Pati’s Mexican Table on Amazon Prime. La Lupita, which is now celebrating 54 years of business, is one of the city’s oldest and most appreciated spots. / Instagram: @taquerialalupitacom 

Photo credit: Courtesy of the State of Yucatan Ministry of Tourism 


Looking at the small things that make life great and the people who create them.

Comments are closed.

North America’s Longest Running Food & Wine Magazine

Get Quench-ed!!!

Champion storytellers & proudly independent for over 50 years. Free Weekly newsletter & full digital access