Yucatecan Pulled Pork with Citrus & Annatto

Lunch / Dinner

Yucatecan Pulled Pork with Citrus & Annatto

Bring south-of-the-border flavor to pulled pork with a bold marinade, unique grilling technique, and some spicy salsa.

When full flavor and fall-off-the-bone tenderness are your priorities, pulled pork simply cannot be rushed. Begin marinating the pork shoulder first thing in the morning or even the night before, and plan to start grilling about 6½ hours before dinnertime. Douse the meat with the extra marinade and wrap it in banana leaves to infuse it with flavor as it cooks.

Make use of some of the down time by preparing citrusy pickled onions to serve over the pork and fresh Roasted Salsa to bring extra heat to the table.


8 servings

Total Time

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Test Kitchen Tips

The leaves of the banana plant — sold frozen in Latin and Asian markets —are often used to wrap foods while cooking. If you can’t find them, just use foil.

Annatto [uh-NAH-toh] paste is used for its slightly sweet, peppery flavor, as well as its rusty red color. It may also be labeled achiote [ah-chee-OH-tay] paste, referring to the name of the seed it’s made from.


For the marinade, combine orange juice, lime juice, annatto paste, garlic, oregano, pepper, cinnamon, salt, cumin, coriander, and cloves in a blender until combined.

Transfer marinade to a nonreactive bowl; add pork, turning to coat evenly. Cover pork and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Prepare grill for indirect grilling, heating one side to medium-high and other side to low to maintain a temperature of 300–325°.

Line bottom of disposable foil roasting pan with banana leaves, overlapping leaves and extending over edges of pan. Lay pork in pan and pour marinade over top. Fold leaves over pork; cover with additional leaves, tucking in edges.

Place pan over low heat; grill, covered, until pork is fork-tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 185°, about 6 hours.

For the pickled onions, whisk together lime juice, orange juice, sugar, and salt until sugar dissolves. Add onions; let stand at least 30 minutes. Drain onions before serving.

Remove pork from grill; let rest 15 minutes. Pour marinade into a fat separator and let stand 5 minutes; discard fat. Shred hot pork using two forks and serve with marinade and pickled onions.


To fully incorporate the annatto paste with the other ingredients, make the marinade in a blender.


Seal in the heat and flavor by wrapping the pork shoulder with pliable banana leaves.

Nutritional Facts

Nutritional Facts

Per serving

Calories: 489

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 14g 21%

Saturated Fat 5g 25%

Cholesterol 229mg 76%

Sodium 454mg 18%

Carbs 14g 4%

Fiber 2g 8%

Protein 76g

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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