Conchinita Pibil is hands down our favorite authentic taco filling — we just can’t get enough of that savory, exotic blend of oranges, achiote, garlic and habanero. This version (as you can imagine) uses our Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero for the latter component and simplifies the cooking process considerably, thanks to the use of a slow cooker (the traditional method wraps the meat in banana leaf and buries it in a coal pit overnight, which just isn’t possible for us, unfortunately). We’ve also included a quick recipe for Mexican-Style Pickled Red Onions — the classic topping for this dish. This dish is great for parties, tailgates, fancy dinners (serve it over rice alongside some black beans, for example), etc. And feel free to ease up on the Habanero Sauce some, in case you want your dish to be less spicy — though it should be said that a good portion of that heat will cook out in the process, leaving you with lots of pepper flavor and a generous back heat that complements the other tastes found here. Enjoy!
3 lbs. pork shoulder, cut into 2- and 3-inch chunks
2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice (or two cups of bottled sauce, the one with heavy pulp)
Juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon salt
10 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 bottles Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero
1/4 cup achiote seeds (available in most Latin grocery stores)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
12 corn or flour tortillas
1 cup Mexican-style pickled red onions (recipe below)
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
Place achiote seeds and oil in a cold pot and heat them together over medium heat until mixture starts to sizzle and the oil turns dark orange-red in color, about 5-10 minutes. Take care not to burn achiote, as it will become bitter. When it reaches that color, turn off heat and set aside.
Add orange juice, lime juice, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt, Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero and achiote-oil mixture to blender and blend until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
Place pork and blender mixture in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until pork is fall-apart tender.
When done, remove pork from slow cooker, leaving liquid behind (do not discard liquid), and shred meat well with two forks.
Note: Do this on a non-reactive surface or in a stainless steel mixing bowl, as the achiote oil will stain whatever it touches.
Once shredded, return pork to slow cooker and mix well with liquid. You want a thick, near-soupy, succulent consistency here.
To serve, heat tortillas until tender, top with 1/3 cup of pork mixture, 2 tablespoons of Mexican-Style Pickled Red Onions, cilantro and a splash more Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero Sauce.
Side Recipe: Mexican-Style Pickled Red Onions
1 large red onion, halved and sliced thinly
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
Place onions in pot, cover with water and boil for 5 minutes, or until they just start to soften. Remove from heat.
Mix salt, sugar, vinegar, lime juice and 1/2 cup hot water from the pot in which the onions were boiled, in a separate bowl until sugar and salt has fully dissolved. Add 1/4 cup hot water from pot of onions to help dissolve salt and sugar, if needed.
Remove onions from water and place in bowl with salt-sugar-vinegar-lime-juice mixture. Stir to combine.
Let mixture sit for 1 hour on counter at room temperature, or until the red color of the onions has begun to seep into the white part of the onion.
Drain onions and use.