Akumal makes Sunday even more than just FUNday. Every Sunday in the pueblo of Akumal local family style restaurants serve up cochinita pibil, AKA pulled pork sandwiches. Mexican pulled pork is a laborious process for the cook so Akumal has decided to make it a special day in town. Cochinita if done right, is marinated pork that is cooked in the ground. Yup, it is slow roasted in banana leaves in a submersed fire pit. Sound complicated right?
This is how a true cochinita pibil is cooked. A below surface fire pit is created and filled with local slow burning wood. The fire needs to be built first as the wood turns to hot coals before anything is roasted in the pit. Open flames is not what the cochinita pibil chef is looking for. Hot fiery coals is the goal. As the fire is attended to and coals are created, Pork loin, fat included, is marinated in achiote paste (chili paste) tomatoes, onions and bitter orange juice. When the fire is ready, the pork and other savory items are wrapped up tight in banana leaves, and placed on the coals. The entire package is then covered in the dirt removed from the fire pit and the pork is left to cook over night. This is a natural oven, and not a piece of dirt touches the meat, so don’t freet.
The pork is then dug up from the fire pit, the family shreds the pork by hand and the resulting meal is served up with onion salsa, cilantro, and other yummy salsas. This is a heavenly dish and a special deal. Akumal makes Sundays more special with the addition of fresh cochinita pibil for local families, and visitors. Give it a try. Swing into the pueblo, pull up a chair at any family restaurant and let us know if your Sunday was better with cochinita pibil.
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