Sunday, December 12, 2010

Achiote Braised Pork Shoulder


Start with homemade achiote paste, braise with a boneless pork shoulder for 3+ hours until fork tender; serve with pickled red onions and tortillas.


  • 4 tablespoons annatto seeds
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 6 whole allspice berries
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 2 habanero peppers, seeded or not, depending on your spicy preference (I processed them whole)
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup white or rice vinegar
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon premium tequila

Ideally grind all spices to powder, and them process with liquids in food processor. I don’t have a spice grinder and so tried to just process everything together and ended up with a chunky/seedy sauce, which was actually good enough by the time everything softened from cooking.


Brown all sides of 2 to 3lb boneless pork shoulder in hot oil in a Dutch oven. Slice whole white onion. Pour above sauce over pork; add 1/2 cup water and onions. Cover, and cook for 3 hours at 300ºF oven or until fork tender. Turn and pour sauce over top of pork 2 or 3 times while cooking.

Pickled Onions

Slice a red onion as thinly as you can. Cover in 1/4 cup lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let stand in refrigerator while pork is cooking, stirring occasionally.

Serve in warm tortillas.


Paste adapted from. Pork adapted from.

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