This time we're going to work with a recipe from the fiery kitchens of Mexico, and then let it proceed to work its way to your soon-to-be-fiery asshole. If you've ever seen the movie Once Upon a Time in Mexico, then you will already be aware of this recipe's existence. It's the reason Johnny Depp shoots a motherfucker: for making it too good.
It was kind of a weird movie.
And I guess that's really the hardest part of this recipe: making sure that Johnny Depp doesn't burst into your shitty apartment while you're making it. You don't need to worry about him killing you (trust me, yours isn't going to be good enough to get him to do that), no, you just need to worry about your date (gender non-specific since this is Johnny Depp, after all), and ravishing them right in front of you.
At this point, the mixture is more or less pure caustic acid with a Latino twist, so any open wounds are going to be cauterized pretty much instantly. And also eating your food.
So, you know, show your dog a picture of Depp and get him good and angry at the sight of it, and keep him on lookout. (If you don't have a dog you can go and steal a dog from somewhere that has dogs—like your neighbor's house.)
Now that we have that formality out of way, let's talk about the actual food.
Puerco pibil is Spanish for "pork whatever the hell pibil means," and basically it's just a super slow-roasted pork, marinated in the best damned sauce you will ever have the pleasure of telling someone with low standards in dating that you cooked for them. It's not very difficult, but it is exceptionally time intensive. But if your date isn't worth spending an hour or two cooking for, then why the hell are you even dating them? I know, right?
Well, regardless of whether that decision-making process leaves you cooking for two, or one, this is a just nifty recipe to be able to make. So let's dive in.
Puerco Pibil with Rice
5 pounds of pork butt – You can get this at any supermarket with a decent chopped up animal parts section.
1/2 cup orange juice – But get more since you read ahead and saw the tequila on the list, and are going to mix tequila with the orange juice and get inadvisably drunk.
1/2 cup vinegar – Do not mix this with tequila and drink it. That is a bad idea.
2 tablespoons of salt – Which even you should have in your drippy apartment.
Juice of 5 lemons – I apologize profusely to anyone who has any open cuts or burns on their hands while they make this recipe. I probably should have made a note about this beforehand, because almost everything you're mixing here is some kind of acidic, and it only gets worse from this point.
8 garlic cloves – I mean, you should probably wear some kind of gloves. Like, any kind.
2 habanero peppers – Or just normal jalapeno peppers, since you cry like a hemophiliac 9-year-old who's been told she's being forced to attend a needle convention every time you so much as catch a whiff of a truly spicy thing.
Tequila – See? Told you. And if you have either the extra cash, or the right sized pockets, you should procure at least a half decent bottle. Don't go nuts, but something above Uncle Roberto's Mexi-Million Proof Discount "Silver" "Tequila."
5 tablespoons annatto seeds – This is the only hard to find thing on the list. You'll probably need to find either a specialty spice shop, or any market with a good Latino section. And unlike most recipes where you aren't exactly sure what thyme is, and you just use basil instead, because you're lazy and unproductive and that's why you're always unhappy with everything in life, this recipe doesn't work without annatto seeds. So, you know… resolve that problem.
1 tablespoon pepper – It might work without this, but may as well use it though, right?
2 teaspoons cumin – I guess, why not? (Just kidding, don't get too casual about this recipe.)
8 whole allspice – Seems like a lot of spices, and it is, but other than the annatto you can get most of these at any grocery store.
1/2 teaspoon clove – Whole—or not. Powder is fine, if you can't find whole. Same goes for the allspice up there.
Rice – However much you think you can eat. And your date too. They exist. Not everything is about you, asshole.
The coffee grinder of your greatest enemy – Seriously, that part's not a joke. It's very important to the recipe.
Now that you've assembled your ingredients like so many acidic Avengers, you're ready to literally just throw everything into a bowl.
Pretty much. Okay, there's a little more to it than that. But not much, really.
The first step is to get a sword. Or a knife, but it feels so much cooler to chop meat with a sword and it's the little victories in life that really matter, right?
Well I'm writing the article, so I say yes. So, take your preferred bladed slicing utensil (yes, bladed. No Morning Stars here, Tom), and cut up your pork into cubes. They don't need to be like, Hellraiser perfect, or anything, but roughly 1-inch cubes. Ish. There's room to play if you're not very good with a tomahawk, or are just really drunk like I am. And that inebriation leads to complications with your tomahawk-wielding abilities.
Put aside the severed porcine hindquarters and get a big-ass bowl. You can now take everything else on the ingredients list, up to the spices, and start pouring it into the aforementioned big-ass bowl: orange juice, vinegar, salt, lemon juice, garlic. It all goes right in and gets mixed. Try and keep the lemon seeds out, if you can. Careful fishing them out though, because, at this point, the mixture is more or less pure caustic acid with a Latino twist, so any open wounds are going to be cauterized pretty much instantly.
Now, for the tequila, one large splash is probably enough. Which is good, since you drank most of it already.
As for the peppers, whichever you procured, I would recommend making sure none of the seeds get in the mixture, unless you want it nice and spicy. Especially if you got the habanero. Unless this is actually a break-up dinner, and you hate this person. Then you may as well just forget the actual peppers, and instead make pepper-sized clumps of the seeds and mix those in instead. (Side note: The PIC legal team informs me that this is considered a war crime in most first world nations. Consult your local county ordinance and go from there. Otherwise, dice up the peppers as tiny as you can and throw them in.)
Next, or first, I guess, you want to blend the spices. Doesn't really matter so much, since once again, it's all getting mixed together, but hey, I have to write this in one order, so that's the one I picked. I hope you're happy.
Get out that coffee grinder and start slap chopping. And this is why I said before to make sure it was the coffee grinder of someone you only wish the worst kind of spicy diarrhea on, because once you blend this in there, it's probably going to taste faintly of annatto forever. And while that may be good on pork, it's not so great in coffee. So get a grinder that you have no previous emotional or physical attachments to.
Once it's ground up, mix it into the bowl of acid that you could dangle James Bond over in order to get him to talk, and then pour it over the pork that I forgot to tell you to put into a glass baking dish a couple of paragraphs ago.
Once that's done, wrap over the dish with tinfoil. Tightly. We want nothing escaping from this.
And here comes the long part. Put it in an oven (preheated to 325 degrees Fahrenheit) and then let it cook for four hours. Yes, four hours. Slow roasted, remember?
What you do in the intervening time is really a personal choice, but I would use this time to quietly reflect on why exactly it is that you've fallen so far in life, and what exactly you can do in order to improve yourself as a person. Then cry a bit, and start making rice.
The rice, again, is up to you. Make rice. As much rice as two people would want to eat. That's pretty much it. Try and time it so that the rice is ready around the same time as the pork. That would be cool.
Once the pork is done, it should flake apart in your mouth and practically evaporate. This is really cool and tastes pretty damned good. You don't really have to do much with this other than plop some onto your rice and start eating. Now, granted, you will need to have a very daring date to try and kiss, let alone try anything else after ingesting this, but I don't pretend to know your fetishes. Enjoy a Mexican-themed feast, and the farty night that is sure to follow.
Wine to pair it with – The rest of the tequila. The rest of the goddamned bottle.
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