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Yucatan Style Pork BBQ

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
Right now I'm interested in learning about the roots of barbecued and smoked meats. The real old stuff, from way back when...what were the recipes like? What did they eat with the meats? Lots of BBQ history out there and lots of good recipes. I want to try my hand at going back to the original, the basics.

Here's my take on Puerco Pibil, a pork barbecue the Mayan's made hundreds of years ago.

Decided on this because I got a great price of fesh pork butt this morning~ 99cents/LB~ Plus, my 2 vacation days make for a nice long smoking weekend! biggrin.gif

Next step is to marinate it in fresh citrus juice till tomorrow. Got some grapefruit, regular limes and Meatball's Key Limes from the exchange program.

And here it is in the bowl marinating in the fresh juice. It's getting covered in plastic wrap and into the fridge~ I'll turn it every three or four hours until tomorrow.

Tomorrow it will be rubbed and smoked as they did it way back then. More Q-Vue to come, and thanks for taking the time to look at the prep!
post #2 of 47
Sounds interesting! Let us know how it goes. PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

Of course the real question is what did they drink back then.... I think some research is in order! biggrin.gif
post #3 of 47
I'll be watching closely.
post #4 of 47
Nice...sounds like it will be good.
post #5 of 47
thats very cool rivet. I cann't wait till tommorrow and fine out more about the way thing were done back then. Till tommorrow.PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #6 of 47
i've been waiting to see this one in action ever since we first talked about it, rivet - it's looking GREAT so far and i'm eager to see how it goes tomorrow ~

what wood are you planning to use? normally, I would assume hickory, but what would the mayans have used? is it available? i don't know ~
post #7 of 47
I absolutely LOVE puerco pibil.
I can't wait to see the outcome of this one.
Now you have me on the verge of running out to get some habs, a butt and some banana leaves.
post #8 of 47
Real nice Rivet.Look forward to the finale....

Real good recipe.Thanks for sharing the start...
post #9 of 47
As someone who does historical recreation cooking for a hobby... What was the historical source you based your recipe and methodology on?
post #10 of 47
I'll be waiting for the outcome also.
post #11 of 47
Thread Starter 
That's an excellent question. I'm a history buff, and -something I learned today from you- a lover of historical recreational cooking. Never knew there was such a thing!

For example, I recall about about 20 years ago reading The Annotated Dracula and in it was the recipe for paprika chicken Johnathan Harker ate at the inn on the way to castle Dracula at the beginning. I just HAD to make it. From then on I was hooked. Been tweaking that recipe ever since, but that is another story.... PDT_Armataz_01_12.gif

I just read a lot, research the writing where and when possible. Thanks to Google and the internet we can now access international sites and records we were unable to as recently as ten years ago.

For puerco pibil, it is not that difficult since the recipe has essentially remained unchanged since Cortez and his men documented it on their arrival to the peninsula. It is very popular all over Mexico. If you go to Yucatan and ask around you will find that is so. I took a "Mexico on $10 a day" type trip to Yucatan and the Mayan ruins about 10 years ago and found that very true.

Hope this answers your question!

TASUNKAWITKO- I'm using oak. Of all the woods that I have available to me right now the only one I know is available in Yucatan and the Mayans may have used is oak. Think of the huge oaks in the Gulf panhandle of Florida, and Southern Georgia for that matter. I thought about a a nut tree, but there is no walnut or pecan that far south in Mexico that I know of. I thought to Google the ranges of different tree's but I recall from my trip, huge oaks with Spanish Moss hanging all from them down there, so that was an easy decision for me. Oak it is.
post #12 of 47
Very interesting Rivet, Waiting to see how it comes out...
post #13 of 47
Rivet, you're pulling on my Mayan roots. It will have a different taste based on the marinade, but it should be a tasty treat. Good luck my friend.
post #14 of 47
sounds like a good plan, and i like your dedication to keeping it real. count me in as a fellow adherent to historical recreation cooking

- keep us informed and let me know how it is ~
post #15 of 47
Thread Starter 
Shot out of bed early this morning...got some pork to smoke! Took a bowl out to the garden and started picking fresh hot peppers for the rub. Jalapeno's, Cayennes and something new we tried this year- SATAN'S KISS hot peppers from Calabria, Italy. They call them BACCIA DE SATANA. I ordered the seeds online last winter, and these peppers are hot, but dang good too! About twice as hot as a really-hot jalapeno, and twice as big. They are the two on the rught, one red and one green-

Chopped them up as fine as I could, and wow, they even smelled hot!

Made the Achiote from the powder-block. Smelled really fresh and sure beats the bottled stuff!

While I was doing the above, I let the meat air dry, then I rubbed it.

I reserved about a third of the rub for the recipe later. Letting mister pork bathe in the rub for a couple hours and come to room temp, too. Going to head out and start the coals!
post #16 of 47
looks really good rivet, nice selection of peppers.

are you wrapping the pork in banana leaf? I have seen recipes that call for that, and also burying the meat in a charcoal pit.

I am looking forward to seeing your results.
post #17 of 47
That is gonna be outstanding. Your threads are always great but this is above and beyond. PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #18 of 47
Thread Starter 
Hey thanks for the nice words guys! I really appreciate them and you all taking the time to follow my cooking along.

Chisox- no, no banana leaves on my version. Main reason is that here in this part of Missouri I can't find any! I thought about fresh corn husks but decided against that. Just gonna continue on with my take on things and see how it turns out. My goal is making it as I imagined they did back then, and I know they didn't have tinfoil, but then I don't have a bbq-pit in the ground either!

It's in the smoker humming along at 250-275 over oak right now. The temps will settle down in a bit and am shooting for 250 F average for the duration.

Got a lot of yardwork to do as well, so back outside I go! I'll post some more in a few hours.

Also.... gonna make an Inca corn dish as a side too. "Smoked Choclo" it's a kind of corn-loaf the Ecuadorians make, and pretty darn tasty. Stay tuned!
post #19 of 47
sounds like your version is ging to be great,

I just had read that those were some of the methods used, and was curious if you were doing them, especially the in ground pit.
post #20 of 47


I wonder about this dish as it is my understanding that there were no pigs in the new world until the Spanish introduced them. Am I wrong there?

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