Slow Cooker Almost Cochinita Pibil (a.ka. Pork Tacos)

I'm saying it: I just don't eat enough pork.  It almost always comes in taco form and this recipe does not disappoint.  The pork is citrusy, flavorful, a little spicy and prefect for tacos, enchiladas or bowls over rice.  It's my slow cooker version of the popular Mexican dish, Cochinita Pibil.  It's traditionally pork marinated in achiote paste and citrus, slowly roasted in banana leaves.  This one is a little more simple and doesn't require anything more than a slow cooker. 

Achiote is a spice made from ground annatto seeds.  It's what gives orange american cheddar cheese it's color if you were wondering.  It's flavor is quite mild, paprika may be used as a substitute.

Serve as tacos on corn tortillas with minced onions and cilantro leaves. And hot sauce.  I like to whip up a pickled onion by marinating a thinly sliced red onion in red wine vinegar and salt about 30 minutes.  

Serves 4-6.

Slow Cooker Cochinita Pibil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon chile powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon achiote powder

2 1/2 pork loin roast, fat trimmed, 2" pieces

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 cup diced white onion

1 chopped jalapeno, stemmed, chopped

1 bay leaf

about 3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

juice of 1 lime

Mix salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, chile powder, garlic powder, onion powder and ground achiote in a large bowl.  Toss pork pieces in spice blend until evenly coated.  Set aside. 

Place garlic cloves, onion, jalapeno, bay leaf and seasoned pork in bowl of slow cooker.  Pour in enough orange juice to come up 2/3's way up the pork.  Add lime juice. (more oj or even water can be added.)  Cook on High until pork is fork tender, about 4 hours.  Shred meat, cover and cook about 20 minutes more.  Serve hot.