(from “10 Minute Cooking School” by Robert Rodriguez)
Makes 8 servings
5 tablespoons annatto seeds or 1.75 ounces achiote rojo paste (see note below)
2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon peppercorns
8 whole allspice berries
½ teaspoon whole cloves
½ cup white vinegar
½ cup orange juice
2 habanero or jalapeno peppers, seeded, deveined, and diced (seed and devein according to your preference for heat)
2 tablespoons salt
8 cloves of garlic
Juice of 5 lemons
1 tablespoon tequila
5 pounds pork butt or pork shoulder
Banana leaves (optional, see note below)
Jalapeno pepper and cilantro, for garnish (optional)
For the marinade:
Grind the annatto seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, allspice, and cloves in a coffee or spice grinder to a fine powder; the finer the better. (Don’t use a coffee grinder that you use for your coffee; use a different one just for spices.) Set aside. Note: If you're using achiote paste, add that to the blender in the next step.
Pour the white vinegar, orange juice, spice mixture, habanero peppers, and garlic, lemon juice and tequila into a blender and puree until smooth.
For the pork:
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Cut the pork butt into 2-inch cubes. Put the pork into a large sealable plastic bag and then add the marinade. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or for as long as 24 hours—the longer the better.
Pour the pork butt and marinade into a roasting pan or casserole dish and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and bake for 4 hours.
Serve the pork with white or Spanish rice. Garnish with jalapeno peppers and cilantro (see photo, courtesy of Robert Rodriguez “10 Minute Cooking School).
Note: If you can’t find annatto seeds at your local grocery store, check the nearest Mexican market , such as Super Mercado for those who live in the Bay Area. Banana leaves usually can be found in Asian markets. I've never used them (as I've not been able to easily find 'em). A buddy of mine who's also adopted this recipe has made it both ways and says the leaves don't make a big difference.
SN: I was able to find banana leaves in the freezer section of a Mexican market. However, I had no luck finding annatto seeds at two markets. But I did find achiote rojo paste, which worked great as a substitute. I've since learned that Penzeys Spices carries annatto seeds.