New This Month

Achiote-Rubbed Pork Baked in Banana Leaves

  • Servings: 8


  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon crumbled oregano, preferably Mexican
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground achiote
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 pounds boneless pork butt, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 banana leaves, about 30-by-12-inches each, softened over a gas flame
  • 1/4 cup lard, melted
  • Avocado slices, for serving
  • 24 to 30 warm corn tortillas, for serving


  1. In a resealable plastic bag, combine onions, vinegar, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, and 3/4 cup water; season with salt. Seal bag and shake to mix well. Let stand at room temperature for at least 6 hours; pickled onions will keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the achiote, lime and orange juices, remaining 1/2 teaspoon oregano, and garlic; add pork, and coat well. Marinate, covered, in a refrigerator for at least 8 hours or up to overnight.

  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Form a cross with the banana leaves, and lay flat in a Dutch-oven. Place pork in center of the leaves along with any remaining marinade; brush with lard. Wrap pork in banana leaves, moistening leaves with water to prevent them from burning, and cover.

  4. Bake until pork is very tender and falling apart, about 3 hours. Using a slotted spoon, remove meat and shred with 2 forks. Return meat to pot, and stir to moisten. To serve, place meat on a tortilla, and top with pickled onions and avocados; fold to enclose. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

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