I am a curious cook and I like to play with my foods! Food ingredients, that is. As soon as I stumbled upon this package of pork riblets, I knew they would be pork pibil riblets! Believe it or not, one of my staple ingredients in my pantry is a bottle of sour orange. Surprisingly there are 2-3 brands to choose from at the local markets. These pibil pork riblets cooked up so tender and flavorful! There are not many foods I would lick my fingers for, but these were finger licking good!The banana leaves add a distinct flavor that you cannot mistake. And because the riblets are small compared to a whole pork roast, the pibil recado(marinade) really comes through. My husband and I enjoyed these for several meals and even shared some with a friend. The flavors only intensified as the days passed. In the directions below, I tell you how to use fresh oranges and limes if the bottled sour orange is not available. Go to the end of the post to find the pickled red onion link on my blog. #foodieforlife #pibil
Pork Pibil Riblets
Yields 6 Servings
3 1/2 pounds pork riblets
Coarse sea salt or kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper
Granulated garlic powder
For Pibil Marinade(recado)
1 1/2 cups Sour Orange(badia or preferida brand)
1 1/2 oz achiote paste
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. clove
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4-1/3 tsp. chile de arbol powder or chipotle
salt to taste
Banana leaves(6 -7)(found in the frozen section)
Tips and Variations: You most certainly could use fresh orange juice and fresh lime juice instead of the store bought sour orange. I just find it much more economical to purchase the bottled sour orange and it’s delicious! If using fresh, I would estimate 6 oranges and 3 limes.
Season the pork lightly with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Set aside.
In the blender, combine the sour orange and the remaining ingredients for the pibil recado. Blend on high until very smooth. Set aside.
Preheat a large griddle pan to medium heat for 5 minutes. Cut the banana leave to a more managable size, such as 11×14. Lay the sections of banana leaves over the hot griddle for just a few seconds to soften them. You will see the color change and become shiny as the leaves release their oil.
Once all the leaves are done, prepare your roasting pan. Line the pan with banana leaves in a criss cross way, so that the leaves hang out of the pan. Add 2 cups of water to the bottom of pan.
Place the pork riblets on top of banana leaves. Pour the pibil recado over the riblets, making sure they are evenly coated. Fold in the banana leaves to cover the pork completely. Cover tight with foil, then a lid to pan, if available.
Roast in a preheated 375 degree oven for 3 1/2 hours or until riblets are very tender. Check for water level after 2 hours.
Once pork is tender, remove the lid, foil and top layer of banana leaves. Place back in over for 25-30 minutes to further brown and caramelize the riblets. Serve over extra banana leaves. Garnish with pickled red onions. Add a side of rice and warm corn tortillas. Link for pickled onions is below.
Pickled Red Onions