Sunday Brunch

Pork Pibil Recipe

Thomasina Miers joins Sunday Brunch to cook Wahaca's signature slow-cooked Mexican pork dish with Mayan spices, orange juice and hot chillies

Feeds 10-12


  • 3kg neck of pork, cut into a few large pieces
  • 1 habanero or Scotch bonnet chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 50g butter

For the marinade

  • 1 tsp allspice berries
  • 2 tsp freshly ground cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 100g achiote paste
  • 3 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 fat garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • Large bunch of fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 6 oranges (about 450ml)

To serve

  • Steamed rice or potatoes
  • Pink pickled onions


1. First make the marinade. Warm the spices in a dry frying pan for a few minutes, then grind to a fine powder. Place in a blender with the achiote, vinegar, onion, garlic, herbs, salt and olive oil and pulse to start breaking up the achiote. Slowly pour in the orange juice with the motor running to get a smooth paste.

2. Pour about two-thirds of the marinade over the pork, ensuring that it is thoroughly coated. Refrigerate overnight. Freeze your remaining marinade or keep it fresh for a week in the fridge (and try it with something else, like barbecued chicken).

3. Preheat the oven to 130°C/250°F/gas 1.

4. Transfer the pork and its marinade to a large casserole dish and add the chopped chilli and butter. Bring to simmering point, cover with foil and a tight-fitting lid and cook as slowly as possible for 3-4 hours, until the pork is soft and falling apart.

5. Serve chunks of pork in deep bowls with rice or steamed potatoes, lots of sauce and piles of the pink pickled onions on top.

Recipe from Wahaca: Mexican Food at Home. Published by Hodder and Stoughton.

Sunday Brunch synopsis

Tim Lovejoy and Simon Rimmer host Sunday Brunch, packed with celebrity guests, tasty cookery and chat

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