Felize Cinco de Mayo! Conchinita Pibil, barbecued pork

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I love Mexican food. Let’s be honest, I love all food, but I love Mexican. I dream of the day Mr. Ortega will ask for my hand in marriage so I could have tacos day and night. Seriously though, tacos; every single day. That may be the most awesome idea ever. Mexican food just screams layers of succulent flavor in every bite. And lucky me – Cinco de Mayo is manana!

Can you imagine the excitement when I saw a magazine dedicated to Mexican recipes while standing in line at the checkout? (Doesn’t take much, I know). I bought it without even looking at the price. Every page was filled with traditional Mexican recipes and the most beautiful and rustic photos I had ever seen. Chorizo for breakfast – yes please. Ancho chile rubbed steaks, make that two. And real smoker recipes. I must be in heaven.

So grab your Dos Equis and lets make believe we are in a world far away with amazing food, music and culture!  Felize Cinco de Mayo!

Barbecued Pork {Conchinita Pibil}

from BHG Special Interest Publications: Mexican 2011


  • 2 teas ground ancho or pasilla chile pepper
  • 1 teas salt
  • 1 teas dried Mexican oregano, crushed
  • 1 teas dried coriander
  • 1/2 dried cumin
  • 1/2 teas ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teas cinnamon
  • 1/4 teas allspice
  • 2 tbs orange juice
  • 1 tbs achiote paste**
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbs lime joice
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 3-lb bone in pork shoulder
  • 8 hickory or oak wood chunks


Banana leaves (soaked in water for 1 hour before using) or parchment paper

Corn tortillas, guacamole, salsa, thinly sliced red onion, snipped cilantro, and lime wedges for serving


In a small bowl, combine ancho chile pepper, salt, oregano, coriander, cumin, black pepper, cinnamon, and allspice. Stir in orange juice, anchiote paste, garlic, lime juice, and oil until a paste forms.

Trim fat from roast. Using a small knife, make slits all over the roast. Wearing gloves, use hands to rub orange juice mixture evenly over the roast. Wrap roast in plastic wrap or place in a resealable plastic bag; place in a shallow dish. Chill for 4 to 24 hours.

Soak wood chunks in water for at least 1 hour before smoking. Remove plastic wrap from pork or remove pork from bag. Wrap roast in banana leaves or parchment paper. Secure with 100% cotton kitchen string. Wrap heavy foil tightly around wrapped roast.*

In a smoker, arrange preheated coals, drained wood chunks, and water pan according to manufacturer’s directions. Pour water into pan. Place wrapped roast on the grill rack over water pan. Cover; smoke at 225 to 275 degrees F for 4 hours or until very tender, adding additional coals and water as needed to maintain temperature and moisture. (I set my smoker to 225 degrees F for 6 hours)

Let wrapped meat stand for 30 minutes. Unwrap meat shred or chop meat, reserving juices, skim fat from the reserved cooking juices. Serve meat with tortillas, guacamole, salsa, red onions, cilantro, lime wedges, and the reserved cooking juices.

*Oven directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Fill the bottom of a roasting pan with water. Place the foil-wrapped roast on a rack in the roasting pan positioned above the water. Cover roasting pan tightly with heavy foil. Roast for 4 hours or until very tender (an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of meat should register at least 170 degrees F). Continue as directed in in the last step, beginning with let meat rest for 30 minutes.

What are your plans for Cinco de Mayo? Making any good food or drinks?

PS. My spell check is exploding. lol



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  1. RavieNomNoms says

    I love me some Mexican too! If I had to eat one kind of food for the rest of my life it would be Mexican..hands down!

    This pork looks fantastic! I always like shredded meat in my Mexican more than ground.

  2. says

    These look fabulous! Then again, any recipe that involves some form of smoked pork is an instant hit at my house. :)
    I’m hoping we’re in for some warmer, dryer weather soon so I can finally bust out the smoker for the season… and when that happens, you can be this recipe will be first on the list of things to make!

  3. shan says

    Chochinita Pibil. No n.

    Something to try next time: Banana leaves – no need to soak, just drag them over an open flame on both sides until they get soft and slack.

    Also, try it in a slow cooker. I haven’t ever made it with so little liquid and spice. More of it equals some delicious sauce.


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