Boom Clap Against the Bow: Pressure Cooker Cochinita Pibil

Despite being warned about attempting to come around the cape on a day of bad weather, we brilliantly decide to ignore our fellow sailors advice and believe what the internet is telling us instead. So we head out in conditions that are honestly not that bad. I mean, there are steep five foot seas that create basically just a rough chop. Yet, again, someone forgot to freaking close the forward hatch before leaving so that cabin is an absolute disaster. It is completely soaked through. Whatever, we get just past San Jose Del Cabo. We’re wet. It’s windy. It’s not dangerous by any means, just uncomfortable. My dad decides to flip a bitch and head in for the marina and San Jose.


We get to the marina. An eerie calm engulfs that boat in an unfamiliar feeling. Stillness. We haven’t been at a dock in well over a month by this point. I feel as though I’m going to be land sick. We quickly meet our neighbors. One guy quickly introduces himself to us at the dock. He then goes on to offer us his truck to complete some errands I want to get done in town. He’s so kind, in fact, I invite him to dinner the next night. Only one problem, he’s a power boater.


Pressure Cooker Cochinita Pibil

Serves 12-15 (seriously, we were eating cochinita for days)

3 tbsp achiote paste

This is what achiote paste looks like, it can be found at most supermarkets in the spice aisle.

1 ½ tbso dried oregano, preferably Mexican

1 ½ tablespoons black pepper

1 ¼ teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon cloves, preferably whole

3 habaneros, diced

3 inch cinnamon stick

14 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

1 ½ c sour valencia orange juice, OR 1 cup fresh lime juice plus 1/2 cup fresh orange juice

The guys juicing the oranges

2 bone-in pork shoulder (Boston butt) roasts (about 12 pounds), cut into 3-inch wide cross sections (unless you have a meat saw, you’ll need to get a butcher to do this for you)

3 tbsp canola oil

2 c vegetable broth


Heat oil in pressure cooker. Brown the pork on each side. Add all other ingredients. Make sure pork is adequately covered with liquid. Bring liquid to boil. Close the lid and set the pressure gauge to 15 psi or the highest pressure your cooker will allow. Once the cooker is up to pressure, allow to cook for 25 minutes. If you do not have a pressure cooker, simply allow to simmer for roughly an hour and a half. After 25 minutes of cooking under pressure, turn the stove off and release the pressure valve. NEVER OPEN A PRESSURE COOKER UNDER PRESSURE!


Once pressure has released, open up the pot and soak in that heavenly goodness. Remove the meat from the pot. Set aside to cool for a bit. Once cool enough to handle, pull the pork into perfect bite sized pieces. Place the meat back in the achiote broth. Allow to simmer over low heat for another 20 minutes. Can be served many different ways, but always with salsa criolla (recipe for in post, “My True Soulmate”

Bon appétit!



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