Pork Achiote is a beautifully savory dish where a pork shoulder is flavored with achiote paste and lime juice and slow cooked. Achiote turns this everyday pork roast into a fiesta. Try this Rick Bayless Slow Roasted Pork Achiote, it’s feeds a crowd, so great for your next party.
I’m a huge Rick Bayless fan and a big fan of real Mexican Food. By real Mexican food I mean authentic dishes from south of the border as opposed to our Americanized versions of dishes we call “Mexican Food”
I was browsing through his cookbooks last Saturday and this jumped right off the page and right onto my dinner table. This is simply delicious. I’ve included an affiliate link if you’re interested in those cookbooks.
Rick tells us in the introduction to this recipe that this type pork recipe would normally be served at a large celebration using a slow pit roasted whole pig. Since most of us don’t have pits in our back yards, Rick assures us a slow cooker or dutch oven and a bone-in pork roast will deliver much of the same flavors. It’s just up to us to provide the celebration.
The major flavor to this dish is Achiote. Achiote is a spice used in cuisine in Mexico and South America. The paste is clay red in color and clay-like in texture. It does turn your fingers red when you crumble the paste.
It’s made of crushed achiote seed, vinegar, salt, garlic and spices and is typically formed into a small block. The paste is then diluted and added to stews or used as a rub for meats. It adds a salty and bittersweet tangy flavor. It is a traditional ingredient used to make Ricado, a rub for suckling pig and other meats.
For this dish, I’ve diluted the paste in fresh lime juice.
Line a Dutch oven or crockpot with banana leaves. Make sure you place the banana leaves so that you can fold them over to surround your pork roast.
Pour the diluted achiote seasoning over the roast, top with rings of sliced onions and pour a little bit of water on the sides of the roast. Fold the banana leaves over to surround the meat and onions. Put the lid on and slow roast the meat either 6 hours on high in a crock pot, or 3 hours in the oven at 300 degrees.
Serve with Roasted Fresh Chili Salsa (photo above, recipe below), some good quality warm corn tortillas and a fresh green salad and you’ve got a beautiful and delicious meal. A note about corn tortillas. Hopefully you can find a good hand-made brand like the one I found at Marczyk Fine Foods. They don’t even resemble the rubbery cheap brands that you find at Safeway. NO comparison.
- 2 ounces achiote seasoning
- 3/4 Cup lime juice
- Banana leaves
- 3 pound bone-in pork shoulder roast
- 1 large white onion sliced about 1/4 inch thick
- 1 large red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 C roasted fresh chile salsa
Place the achiote seasoning in a small bowl. Pour in 1/2 C. of the lime juice and 2 t. salt. Use a fork to work the mixture into a smooth thickish marinade.
Line your slow cooker with banana leaves. Lay in the pork and pour the marinade over and around the meat.
Scatter the white onion over the meat.
Pour 1/2 C. water around the meat.
Fold banana leaves to roughly cover everything.
Cover and slow-cook on high for 6 hours, until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender. If you roast this in the oven, 300 degrees for 3 hours.
While the meat is cooking, combine the red onion with remaining 1/4 cup lime juice in a small bowl. Sprinkle with salt and set aside to marinate, stirring from time to time..
Use tongs to transfer the meat and onions to dinner plates. Spoon off any rendered fat that's floating in the juices. Ladle brothy sauce into a saucepan and boil it down to about 1/2. Season with salt and spoon it over the meat. Top with the lime-marinated red onions and serve with the salsa and warm corn tortillas.
- Makes 1/2 Cup
- 4 ounces fresh hot green chiles I used the jalapeño 4 medium jalapeño, or 10 medium Serrano, or 12 orange Habanero
- 4 garlic cloves peeled
- 2 T . fresh lime juice
Turn on your oven broiler and adjust rack to highest level. Break stems off the chiles, cut them in half lengthwise and lay them, cut side down, on a small baking sheet. Scatter the garlic cloves among the chiles. Broil until chiles are soft and blotchy black. Remove skins. Scrape the chiles and garlic into a blender and add the lime juice and 1/4 C. water. Process until nearly smooth.
I ate this like a soft taco. Warm the tortillas, lay some of the tender pork on top, drizzle with the Fresh Chili Salsa and some cilantro and red onions. Roll it up and enjoy. I can’t wait to serve this at my next dinner party. Rick Bayless has done it again!
Rick Bayless Slow Roasted Pork Achiote …It’s What’s For Dinner