Cochinita Pibil Tacos with Queso Fresco and Pickled Onions


Cochinita Pibil tacos is a traditional Mexican/Central American dish that is made by slowly roasting pork shoulder with a savory spice blend that consists of cumin seed, annatto seed, cloves and allspice berries.  The pork is marinated in spices and orange juice over night, wrapped in banana leaves, and baked in the oven.  Thankfully it was easy to find the annatto seeds and banana leaves at a latin grocery store.  After several hours, my kitchen smelled amazing from the spices and the pork was ready to be shredded and wrapped in warm corn tacos.  I added a little crumbled queso fresco and Mexican pickled onions for garnish.  To add a substantial amount of heat I put a tiny bit of roasted habanero salsa on them as well.  I topped the tacos with fresh cilantro. If the salsa is just too firey, add a little sour cream to cool the heat.

Cochinita Pibil Tacos with Queso Fresco and Pickled Onions
(Makes 9 tacos)
Printable Version


  • 1 3-4lb Pork Shoulder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp annatto or achiote seeds
  • 3 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 3 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tsp cloves, whole
  • 3 tsp allspice berries
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 orange, juice and zest
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • banana leaves or foil
  • 1 batch Pickled Onions
  • 1 batch Roasted Habanero Salsa
  • 5 oz. Queso Fresco, crumbled
  • handful cilantro, chopped
  • sour cream (optional)
  • 9 soft corn tacos, warm


  1. Grind the annatto seeds, oregano, peppercorns, cumin, clove, allspice and cinnamon together.
  2. Rub the pork in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pour the spice blend evenly all over the pork.
  3. Squeeze the orange and lime juice on the pork and add the minced garlic.
  4. Let marinate in the fridge for several hours to overnight.
  5. Wrap the pork in banana leaves or foil and bake in a preheated 325F oven until the internal temperature reaches 165F, about 3-4 hours.
  6. After the pork has cooled, shred with a fork and assemble tacos.

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