Every cook has shelves and shelves of cookbooks, but most of them ever get opened more than once or twice. Then there are the cookbooks you can’t live without. Roberto Santibanez, chef of the NYC restaurant Rosa Mexicano, wrote an excellent book Rosa’s New Mexican Table.

I’ve tried a few recipes before and wanted to get deeper into the book now that I’m in Texas where there are tons of local Mexican grocery stores and amazing made that day tortillas.

So I tried what is essentially Mexico’s version of pulled-pork. It’s the Slow-Cooked Anchiote-Marinated Pork on page 102 (I wanted to post the full recipe but that’s a copyright violation, so pardon my select ingredients that follow as they are more for me to remember what I need to buy at the grocery store in case I failed to check the book. One of the great side-effects of a food blog is that you can pull up the blog’s recipes on a smartphone.)

The recipe calls for a 3 1/2 pound pork butt, 10-ounce package of fresh banana leaves, a couple of limes, anchiote paste, and several spices. The pork is marinated for a couple hours or over night. Once marinated the pork is wrapped in the banana leaves in a casserole dish and cooked for 2 1/2 hours.


Above is what it looks like before entering the oven and below is what it looks like after being unwrapped and pulled. Keep all the liquid from the pan as this will be used to coat the pork. Simply pull the pork and place it in the pan with the marinade juices from the oven. Stir and serve the pork with some sliced onions, cilantro and tortillas.


You can also add some hot sauce, but the tacos do not need it and you’ll get more of the sour and hot flavor from the pork without adding more heat to the dish.

The shredded pork can also be used for burritos, quesadillas, or use it like BBQ pulled pork and make a sandwich. There should be plenty of leftovers to play around with.

A friend informed me this is also known as Cochinita Pibil.