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Goat Cochinita Pibil - Print
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Goat Cochinita Pibil

Slow-cooked, marinated goat leg is a traditional recipe from the Yucatan.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Marinating Time1 d
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Cochinita Pibil, Goat, Lamb
Servings: 6


  • Banana Leaves, thawed if frozen



Achiote Marinade

  • 3 Tablespoons achiote powder
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano or marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 7 large garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice

Pickled Onions

  • 1 medium-sized red onion
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Finely grated orange zest to taste
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano

Habanero Salsa (optional-very spicy!)

  • 8-10 habanero peppers
  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 garlic cloves unpeeled

For Serving

  • Corn tortillas, lightly charred over a gas burner
  • Radishes, sliced
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Lime wedges
  • Cilantro


Habanero salsa

  • Put the garlic cloves in a dry pan and cook on medium heat while you clean the peppers. Wearing gloves, or being very careful not to touch the peppers, cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds (optional). Add the peppers, cut side up to the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook the garlic and peppers until they blister, and the garlic is soft. Transfer to the bowl of a blender or molcajete (mortar and pestle) then add the lime juice and salt, and blend/pound until smooth. The sauce should not be finely pureed, so be careful not to overdo it if you have a high-speed blender like a vitamix.


  • Cut the root and top off the onions, then cut in half vertically through the root and top. Put the cut half of the onion down on the cutting board, then slice the short way, (perpendicular to the equator) into ¼ inch slices. Combine the onions in a non-aluminum mixing bowl with the salt, orange zest, lime and orange juices, and the oregano, mix well, transfer to a container with a lid, and refrigerate until needed. The onions taste better made at least the day before serving so the flavors can meld.

Goat Leg

  • Combine all ingredients for the marinade and puree in a blender. Pour the marinated over the goat leg, then refrigerate, turning over in the juices every hour or two, or as often as you can remember, for 24 hours.
  • The next day, preheat an oven to 225 F. Line a baking dish large enough to fit the goat leg into with banana leaves, leaving enough hanging over the side to completely wrap the leg on all sides. Pour any excess marinade over the leg, then wrap tightly in the rest of the banana leaves, pour 2 cups of water into the dish, and bake for 4 hours, or until tender.
  • When the goat is cooked, remove it from the oven, allow to rest for 15 minutes, then unwrap, shred the meat, season to taste and correct the seasoning for salt if needed, moistening it with any roasting juices. Over a gas burner or a grill, heat the tortillas until the blister and char a bit, then wrap in a towel. Serve the tortillas with the shredded goat, onions, salsa, radishes, avocados and lime wedges and allow guests to build their own tacos.


The goat leg pictured has an attached shank, but most of our legs have the shank removed. Legs with shanks attached can be made available, but are a special order.