Traditionally, this Yucatán-style pork is cooked all day in a pit, but a pressure cooker gets it on the table much quicker. Cooking the pork wrapped in banana leaves is optional but adds an authentic grassy note.

EatingWell Magazine, May 2020

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Recipe Summary

active:
1 hr
total:
2 hrs
Servings:
6
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Ingredients

Pork
Pickled Onion & Peppers
Other

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare pork: Whisk spice blend, 2 1/2 tablespoons vinegar, orange juice, lime juice, garlic and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a large bowl. Add pork and stir to coat.

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  • If using banana leaves, rinse off any white residue and trim any hard, brown edges. Place one leaf so it covers the bottom of the inner pot of a 6-qt. electric pressure cooker. (Or see Oven Variation.) Arrange the pork in a single layer and drizzle with any juices from the bowl. Pour 1 cup water around the pork. Cover with the other banana leaf. (If not using banana leaves, proceed without them, arranging the pork and adding the water.)

  • Lock the lid and cook at high pressure for 45 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, to prepare pickled onion & peppers: Place onion in a small, deep heatproof bowl. Cover with 2 cups water and let soak for 10 minutes. Drain well, then return to the bowl. Add peppers.

  • Combine the remaining 1/4 cup water, vinegar, cloves (or allspice), oregano, peppercorns and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a lively simmer over high heat, then pour over the vegetables. Set aside, stirring occasionally.

  • Let the cooker pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Carefully release residual pressure manually, unlock and remove the lid. Use tongs to remove the banana leaves.

  • Transfer the pork to a serving platter and shred with 2 forks. Loosely cover with a banana leaf or foil to keep warm. Pour the cooking liquid into a measuring cup and set aside for 10 minutes. Skim off any fat. Return the liquid to the pot, set the cooker to Saute on high and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half, 5 to 7 minutes. Mix the liquid into the pork.

  • Drain the vegetables and remove the whole spices. Serve the pork and vegetables in tortillas with crumbled cotija and lime wedges, if desired.

To make ahead

Refrigerate pickled onion (Steps 4-5) for up to 1 week.

Equipment

6-qt. electric pressure cooker (or see Oven Variation)

Oven variation

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Pour 1 cup of water into a 6-quart heavy pot, then line it with two banana leaves (or 12-by-18-inch pieces of parchment paper): one covering the bottom (let it go up the sides), the other leaf across the first one. Add the pork in a single layer and drizzle with any juices from the bowl. Fold the leaves (or paper) closed. Tightly cover and roast until very tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Continue with Steps 4-8, reducing the liquid in the pot on the stovetop in Step 7.

Tip

Banana leaves can be used to wrap foods before barbecuing, baking or steaming, lending a subtle sweet flavor and aroma to whatever is folded inside them. They're sold frozen and fresh at Asian and Latin American markets.

Nutrition Facts

2 tacos each
472 calories; protein 49.4g; carbohydrates 29.8g; dietary fiber 4.4g; sugars 1.6g; fat 16.6g; saturated fat 5g; cholesterol 148mg; vitamin a iu 184.2IU; vitamin c 26.2mg; folate 108.6mcg; calcium 144.2mg; iron 3.5mg; magnesium 78.2mg; potassium 777.9mg; sodium 689.1mg.
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