Chef News

Alex Padilla's Cochinita Pibil


After getting to know Alex Padilla of Taberna Mexicana, he let us in on the recipe for his favorite menu item, Cochinita Pibil, which is a Yucatan pork stew baked in a banana leaf and traditionally served with fried plantains, Mexican crema, pickled red onions, and flour or corn tortillas. The recipe that follows serves four, but is great to cook in larger quantities considering the pork will still taste great a few days later. Whether or not you think you like pork, you will love this!


Cochinita Pibil

Pork shoulder 3 1/2 pounds

Grapefruit (juiced) 1 each

Oranges (juiced) 1 1/2 each

Limes (juiced) 2 each

Lemons (juiced) 2 each

Pineapple juice 1 cup 

Garlic cloves (toasted) 1/8 cup   

Roma tomatoes (sliced) 1/3 cup

Roma tomatoes (grilled) 1/3 cup

Yellow onion (sliced) 1 1/3 lbs  

Red wine vinegar 1/3 cup

Kosher salt 1/8 cup

Black pepper (ground) 1/4 cup

Oregano (dried) 1/4 cup

Bay leaves 1 each

Banana leaves 3

Cumin (ground) 1 1/3 teaspoons

Habaneros 1 each

Achiote paste 1/3 pound

See what to do with the ingredients after the jump.


For the pig

1. Cut pork shoulder in 1-pound pieces.

2. Season with salt, pepper, and ground cumin.

3. Mark on grill for 10 minutes.

4. Place meat in a casserole dish. Cover with banana leaf.

5. Blend orange juice, grapefruit juice, lime juice, lemon juice and pineapple juice.

6. Add achiote paste, red wine vinegar, black pepper, habaneros, grilled tomatoes, toasted garlic, and make a puree.

7. Pour on top of meat.

8. Sprinkle salt, oregano, bay leaves, sliced onions, and remaining tomatoes over it.

9. Cover with remaining banana leaves and aluminum foil.

10. Place in oven at 325 degrees for three to four hours.  

For the plantains:

Plantains 4

1. Peel ripened plantains and slice into 1/4 inch bias-cut pieces.

2. Emerse in oil until golden brown.

3. Add a touch of salt when they are done.  

For the onions:

Lemon (juiced) 1 each

Lime (juiced) 1 each

Orange (juiced) 1 each 

Grapefruit (juiced) 1 each 

Red wine vinegar 1/2 cup

Red onion (julienned) 1 quart

Habanero (optional) 1 each

1. Bring all liquids to a boil.

2. Add onions and habanero.

3. Bring to simmer again and then let cool.

4. When cool, cover and let sit over night.

Serve with flour or corn tortillas from your local Mexican marketplace.

If you missed out on part one or two of Chef Chat with Padilla, refer back now.


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Keyon Fareghi
Contact: Keyon Fareghi