Yucatecan Pork Shank

Contributed by: Chef Gilberto Cetina

Yucatecan Pork Shank

Recipe type: Yield: 8-10 Prep time: Cook time: Total time:

Yucatecan Pork Shank tastes great. A popular dish in the Yucatan, where it is traditionally cooked in a pit, it may be the most tender, flavorful pork


Akat de Codillos
1 1/2 T recado rojo (recipe follows)
1 c naranja agria juice (or lime juice)
1 T salt
5 pounds pork shanks
Banana leaves, thawed if frozen or prepared if fresh (see below)

Recado Rojo or Pasta de achiote, recado Colorado (Makes about 1 cup)
1/2 c ground achiote
1 T ground white pepper
4 T salt
1 T garlic power
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch ground allspice
1 pinch ground oregano
1/4 c white vinegar
1/4 c water

Cebolla para Cochinita Pibil, Chopped Pickled Onions (Serves 6)
1 medium red onion – chopped
1/4 c white vinegar
1/4 c water
3/4 t salt


  1. Akat de Codillos
  2. Make a marinade by mixing recado jojo, naranja agria juice and salt until well blended.
  3. Marinate the pork shanks in the marinade.
  4. Line a stockpot with the banana leaves, overlapping the leaves slightly and covering the bottom and sides of the baking dish well.
  5. Place the marinated pork in the banana-leaf-lined pot. Pour the remaining marinade over the meat, and fold the banana leaves over to completely cover the pork. Cover the stockpot.
  6. Cook over medium heat for 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is tender to the point of falling apart with with a fork.
  7. Garnishes
  8. Cebolla para cochinita pibil
  9. Whole chiles habaneros (optional)
  10. Recado Rojo
  11. Mix all of the ingredients in a nonreactive bowl (stainless steel or glass) until everything is well blended.
  12. Cebolla para Cochinita Pibil
  13. Place the chopped onion in a large bowl.
  14. Add the vinegar, water and salt. The onions should be completely covered.
  15. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 15 minutes-in or out of the refrigerator-or serve immediately.
  16. Banana Leaves (if being prepared)
  17. Banana leaves must first be softened. The easiest way to do this is by passing the leaves quickly over a flame of a gas burner, being careful not to burn or char the leaves. You can also blanch in boiling water for a few second.
  18. For convenience, consider using frozen leaves that only need to be thawed.

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