Cochinita pibil is an authentic Mexican recipe made with pork shoulder which is slowly cooked with citrus and achiote paste until tender and juicy. We suggest serving with warm corn tortillas.
Taco night is a frequent occurrence in our house. Whether it’s shrimp tacos, fish tacos or steak tacos, my boys embrace just about anything served in a warm corn tortilla topped with cilantro and onion.
To start making the cochinita pibil, simply mix all of the spices, achiote paste and citrus juices in the bottom of the slow cooker insert.
No-Mess Cleaning Tip:
There’s no need to dirty a second bowl to mix the ingredients, simply whisk them together in the slow cooker insert!
Once you’ve mixed the spices, paste and citrus juices, rub the marinade carefully all over the pork shoulder. At this time you will top with a little beer for added flavor and bit of acidity.
While the slow cooker pork is cooking, I recommend whipping up a batch of pickled red onions.
How do you make pickled red onions?
Simply toss thinly shaved red onions with white vinegar or lime juice (or both) and a good pinch of salt. Let sit for 2 hours or up to overnight stirring frequently.
Once the pork is fully cooked and tender, gently shred using two forks.
What should I do with the reserved cooking liquid?
There will be a high amount of fat content in the reserved cooking liquid so I suggest refrigerating it overnight then removing the hardened layer of fat that lifts to the top once chilled. You can speed this up by placing it in the freezer. Store the rest of the shredded pork with the reserved cooking liquid.
To serve, place the shredded pork on warm corn tortillas and top with cilantro and pickled red onions if you wish.
You can use store-bought corn tortillas but we love making them from scratch. Follow my easy step-by-step guide to making homemade corn tortillas.
How can I freeze the shredded pork?
You can freeze the shredded pork in an air-tight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How far in advance can I prepare this pork?
This recipe is great for prepping-ahead! It will stay good in the refrigerator for up to four days.
What’s the best type of slow cooker to use?
We are big fans of our portable “Cook n’Carry” Crock-Pot.
What are your favorite taco toppings? I’d love to hear from you!
No forks required.
Slow Cooker Cochinita Pibil
Pickled Red Onions (optional)
- 1 large red onion – thinly sliced
- 1 lime juiced
- kosher salt to taste
- corn tortillas (pickled red onions and minced cilantro – to serve)
- In the base of the slow cooker, use a fork to mash together the pork marinade: achiote paste, garlic powder, onion powder, vinegar, salt, pepper and orange juice.
- Add pork to the slow cooker and rotate with tongs until pork is evenly coated with marinade.
- Pour in beer and cover with lid.
- Cook on Low for 8 hours or High for 4 hours.
- While pork is cooking, prepare the pickled red onions by combining all ingredients in a small bowl and tossing to combine. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Set aside until you’re ready to serve.
- Remove pork from the slow cooker and let rest until it’s cooled down enough to handle. Use your fingers or two forks to shred pork, removing any large pieces of fat.
- To remove fat even further from the dish, pour out all of the liquid that is remaining in the slow cooker into a measuring cup with a fat separator. Let the fat come to the top and discard.
- Add shredded pork back into the slow cooker and pour in the remaining broth that has been separated.
- Serve pork in corn tortillas and garnish with reserved pickled red onions and minced cilantro.