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One of the best parts of being Mexican is our food. We have countless dishes from different regions, and today, I wanted to introduce you to a mouth-watering dish called Cochinita Pibil. Its literal meaning is "suckling pig" or "baby pig" cooked in an underground pit or "pib."
So how is Cochinita made?
Before I tell you, I'd like to share one of the most influential people I have found so far that can tell us how to make cochinita pibil the authentic way.
Her name is Chef Rosalía Chay Chuc, and she is from a small and remote town called Yaxunah, located near the world-famous Chichen Itzá. Her cooking skills were passed down from her grandmother and mother. And now, it is up to her to continue the long tradition of cooking cochinita.
She explains that while she is busy making the "recado" or marinade, her husband, Don Ernesto is in charge of digging the hole in the ground and gathering wood for the fire.
For the marinade, she uses annatto seeds, also called achiote, oregano, pepper, clove, garlic, onion, and cinnamon. Then she mixes all the ingredients and puts the paste into a grinder. Then, she adds orange juice and salt; once the marinade is done, she rubs it onto the pork.
After that, chef Rosalía prepares a large pot with banana leaves at the bottom of the pot and adds red onions; then, she adds the marinated pork and another layer of banana leaves. This helps everything stay warm, but it also gives a unique flavor to the pork.
When it is time to cook the meat, the pot is placed in the pit filled with hot stones from the fire; they cover the hole with more wood, leaves, and dirt. The cochinita is then left to cook overnight. The following day the meat is cooked, tender and juicy.
Did I mention that Chef Rosalía also makes her own tortillas? Now picture a soft and warm tortilla with the juicy and tender cochinita in a taco with some pickled red onion. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
Chef Rosalía makes several dishes that are to die for; because of the delicious recipes she can cook, the chef has been able to open a small hut right next to her house where only a handful of seats are available, and believe it or not, there is a long list of people waiting their turn to try out the delicacies Chef Rosalía makes.
Here's a fun fact for you: Chef Rosalía was featured on an episode of Chef's Table on Netflix. As she invites you to her home to try her delicacies and live a unique experience, I invite you to check out the episode on Netflix.
Have you ever had cochinita? Let me know what you think!