This recipe is probably not going to win any throwdowns against the Yucatan’s pit masters… but it is a great introduction to a very likeable Regional Mexican cuisine.
I have met dozens of culinary enthusiasts from the U.S. & Europe who have become ardent Mexican cuisine advocates and most of them cite either some Oaxacan or Yucatecan culinary experience that first got them seriously interested in Mexico.
To me Yucatecan is like the Japanese cuisine of Mexico… it takes a fairly narrow range of ingredients & condiments and utilizes them in hundreds of small variations. Like the Japan… I have found the Yucatan to produce an extraordinary amount of Super Tasters… and the ability to appreciate minute variations in flavor, aroma & texture is truly impressive.
Fortunately, the rest of the us don’t have to be 6 sigma Super Tasters to appreciate either cuisine. What I like about Yucatecan cuisine is the complexity & delicacy of its flavor combination…. with a few flourishes of intense Capsicum… every once in a while. The best way to describe Yucatecan flavors is… floral, soft & sensual. I am not talking about Veracruz’ let me eat 100 oysters & wow you with my huge, eternal erection type sexuality… but more of a feminine, perfumed & soft skin type of sensuality.
- 1Cut the Banana leafs into 4 – 10 inch long rectangles, stack them with a wet paper towel on top and microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute so that they soften and are pliable
- 2Put the Banana leafs over a shallow baking dish in a way that forms a circle
- 3Cut any gristle off the meat & chop into 2 squre inch chunks, then place in the center of the banana leaves
- 4Blend the Achiote paste with the lime juice & spices until all lumps have disappeared then pour it over the meat… cover the baking dish & let it marinade 8 to 24 hours
- 5Melt the lard, let it cool then pour over the meat & fold the banana leaves in forming a little pouch
- 6Using aluminum foil completely enclose the banana leaf pouch, put it in the baking dish and back in a 325F pre heated oven for 2 hours.
- 7To serve… remove the Aluminium foil, open up the Pouch & shred the meat with a couple of forks, baste the shredded meat with its juices & place the open pouch on a bamboo or clay plate. Serve it with Marinated Red Onions, Habanero Salsa, Corn Tortillas, Yucatecan style Black Beans & a platter of Jicama, Papaya, Oranges & Cucumber that have been dressed in Lime Juice, Salt & a slight sprinkling of cracked dried Piquin or Chiltepin chiles.
Member recipes are not tested by the CHOW food team.