Friday, October 26, 2007

Two Things You Must Do Well

Okay this is a first (actually 2 firsts)... I'm going to post a recipe AND recommend a movie all at the same time.
If you like Mexican food then pay attention. This recipe is unlike anything you have ever had.
If you have already seen the Robert Rodriguez movie "Once Upon A Time In Mexico", then you may be familiar with Puerco Pibil.

If not, go rent the movie and watch it, then view Robert's 10 Minute Cooking School in the special features.

There are two important things in life that all us humans must do and therefore we might as well do them well. Eating is one of those things...(I'll let Rodriguez tell you the other thing) so, since you're gonna' be eating anyway, you might as well learn to cook something worth eating.

THIS is that one thing that you MUST cook and eat in your lifetime if you like Mexican food in the least. If you have guests over, it will blow them away, if not... you will save some of this and take it to total strangers just to share it. Yes, it's that good.
The aroma while cooking Puerco Pibil is out of this world wicked good between the pork, the seasonings and the banana leaves... unbelievably good and the presentation- spectacular. It is as they say, ..."To Die For".

Here is a youtube video from the movie Once Upon A Time In Mexico with the recipe to get you going...

Below is the full recipe plus a couple tricks and tips I have learned the hard way. Call ahead to local Mexican Grocers to find Banana leaves and ground annato seeds (both very cheap). Entire cost of recipe about $25 max. Will feed 6-8 hungry gringos. (Here is a smaller recipe)

Recipe from Robert Rodriguez.
5 Tbs. ground annato seeds (buy pre-ground annato at Mexican Mkt not whole seeds or paste)
2 Tbs. salt
1 Tbs. whole peppercorns
8 whole allspice
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. whole cloves
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 habañeros -deveined, seeds removed, I use 4-5 or 8 Jalepenos instead (better flavor to me)
1/2 cup orange juice (I have found that 1 cup of OJ works better, more sauce)
1/2 cup white vinegar
juice of 5-8 lemons
*splash or shot of tequila(*warning, a shot might get you shot).
5-6 lb. pork butt, cut into 2" cubes
1 lb. banana leaves, whole fresh.
*Prep. time: 15 minutes (more like 30min's for me)
Marinate time: overnight
Cook time: 4-6 hours
Yield: 6-8 servings*

Combine all whole spices in a old coffee grinder or spice mill, grinder. Grind them well, to a fine powder.
In a blender or food processor, combine spice powder, garlic, habañeros (Jalepenos), orange juice, vinegar, lemon juice, and tequila.
Place the pork in a large 1gal+ ziplock bag and add the marinade; shake well.
Marinate for 12 to 24 hours, shaking 2 or 3 times.
Preheat oven to 325º. Line a baking pan with the banana leaves. you will wrap the pork in them, so be sure to overlap them well and leave enough so the edges will overlap, making a tight "package."
Dump the pork and marinade into the pan; wrap with banana leaves.

Put more leaves on the top. Cover the whole thing with tinfoil and seal the edges so no steam escapes. Bake for 4-6+ hours or until pork is tender and falling apart. I turn the oven down to 300 and let it cook 6-7 hrs for melt in your mouth tenderness and a little thicker "gravy" sauce.

Serve over a bed of white or Mexican rice.
Garnish with a tomato wedge and fresh jalapeños and/or serrano peppers.

I make homemade refried beans to serve along with the Pibil and rice...
ahhhhhh heaven!

For leftovers, put the leftover rice right in with the pibil and let it soak up the sauce.... when you reheat it. YUMMY.

Once Upon A Time In Mexico is the third of the trilogy "El Mariachi" based on a poor Mariachi singer who gets confused for a killer and becomes a legend. With Selma Hayek, Cheech Marin, Mickey Rork, William Defoe, Enrique Iglesias, Antonio Bandaras, Johnny Depp and a special appearance by Quentin Tarantino.

For the great music check out Robert Rodrigeuz's band The Chingons HERE.
OR in the special features area of Kill Bill 2 !

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