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Test Kitchen Approved

Able’s Peppercorn Puerco Pebil

Recipe By Able Blakley, Savory Spice—Oklahoma City, OK owner


6 to 8 servings

Prep Time

15 Minutes

Cooking Time

3 Hours

Recipe By Able Blakley, Savory Spice—Oklahoma City, OK owner

The pepper factor is amplified in this twist on a traditional Mayan-style puerco (or cochinita) pebil, a flavorful, slow-roasted pork dish.

Serving Suggestions

Serve on banana leaves over rice with garnishes like cilantro, pickled onions or a crumbled Latin cheese, such as queso seco. If you are saving any pork for later, remove it from the banana leaf wrapping first.

Recipe Notes

*Seed habanero chiles for less heat. Banana leaves are optional but very cool and add to the presentation of the dish.


8 cloves garlic

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

2 lemons, juiced

1 orange, zest grated, juiced

1/4 cup tequila, optional

1 to 2 fresh habanero chiles*, optional

4 lbs. pork shoulder/butt

Banana leaves*, optional

Savory Spice ingredients in this recipe

  • Four Corners Peppercorns

    With four types of peppercorns, this blend adds more complex notes than black peppercorns have alone. Upgrade your pepper mill game with robust Mal...

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  • Szechwan (Szechuan) Peppercorn

    The Szechwan Peppercorn (or Szechuan peppercorn) provided a tingling flavor sensation like no other spice in the world. Szechuan peppercorns are ...

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  • Jamaican Allspice Berries

    Jamaican Allspice Berries are a common ingredient in Caribbean cuisine, especially jerk seasoning. These all spice berries have a flavor that's sim...

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  • Cumin Seeds (Organically Sourced)

    Cumin, also known as Comino, is native to the Nile valley in Egypt. It is now cultivated in other hot regions of India, the Mediterranean, and Nort...

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  • Achiote Paste

    Achiote paste, also known as bija or bijol in Spanish, adds an authentic flavor and bright yellow color to the cuisine of Cuba, Mexico and Central ...

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  • Mayan Sea Salt

    Mayan Sea Salt has a clean appearance and flavor but is also an interesting tie to the ancient Mayan way of life. This sea salt was harvested off t...

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Place Four Corners, Szechwan, allspice and cumin in a coffee/spice grinder and grind to a very fine powder. Place powder, achiote paste, garlic, vinegar lemon juice, orange zest and juice, salt, tequila, and habanero chiles in a blender and blend thoroughly. Cut pork into 2-inch cubes and place in a large zip top bag. Pour contents of blender into bag, seal and refrigerate overnight. Line a baking dish with banana leaves, if using, leaving enough overhang to cover top. Pour pork and marinade into the dish along with 1/2 cup water. Wrap banana leaves over pork to cover completely. Cover dish with aluminum foil and/or lid. Slow roast in a 325 degree oven for 3 hours, or until pork pieces are so tender they're falling apart.