Was Laura just using me to make the massive amounts of prep manageable? Would I be attacked by surprise banana leaf spiders? Could I butcher 5 lbs of raw pork butt without getting completely grossed out? or Would I have a delightful day of cooking, eating and Cards Against Humanity?
Puerco (or Arroz or Veggie) Pibil
From Once Upon a Time in Mexico
Servings: 8-10 (per type)
Time: 6+ hours (4 inactive)
|Oh so many spices in one now destroyed coffee grinder|
5 tbsp achiote seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
8 whole allspice
1 tbsp whole black pepper
1/2 tsp cloves
3-4 habanero peppers (deveined and deseeded with gloves)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 tbsp salt
10 garlic cloves
Juice of 5 lemons
2-3 splashes of good tequila
5 lbs pork butt or chicken breast, cut into 1-2" cubes
or assorted veggies (parsnips, purple potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and mushrooms), chopped
Banana leaves, rinsed with the stems cut off.
Tortillas and/or rice
|My aversion to touching raw meat, Laura's dull knives and 5 lbs of bone-in pork butt were about to put my butchering skills to the test.|
|Watch for spiders!|
- Put on awesome Mexican music.
- Preheat the oven to 325 F.
- Grind the achiote seeds, cumin, allspice, whole black pepper and cloves together in a coffee grinder (and then never use for coffee again).
- Combine the habanero peppers, orange juice, vinegar, salt, garlic with the ground spice mix in a blender until very smooth.
- Add in the lemon juice and tequila (you can keep adding more to balance out the spice).
- Start hating your friend Laura for her poor knives while attempting to butcher the meat and/or veggies.
- Marinade the meat and/or veggies in large bowls for at least half an hour.
- Cover the bottom of a 9"x13" glass baking pan with a banana leaf. Place another, extra long banana leaf going across the width of the pan (it should probably be about three times the width of the pan so you can later fold it over (like you would a letter).
- Pour the meat or veggies on top of the banana leaves. Fold the leaves over to cover.
- Wrap tightly in aluminum foil so no steam can escape then cook for at least 4 hours.
- Lazily lay on the couch and let the amazing smell take over your house while you try to fight the pibil-lust and successfully wait the 4 hours.
- Spoon the amazingly tender, seasoned goodness on top of tortillas or rice and enjoy.
|I've gotta admit, a little part of me that believes in a magic was really hoping I'd find whole bananas had grown when I opened it up.|
|Get in close to really smell the awesome.|
|Notice the lack of juice because these awesome veggies absorbed all that amazing flavor (they really love tequila).|