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Poc-Chuc: Tender Pork topped with Onions


Poc-Chuc was originally created before there was refrigeration and meats were salted to preserve them. Acidic flavors such as sour orange and vinegar were used to combat the saltiness of the meat. With refrigeration readily available nowadays, salting meat is uneccesary but the acidic flavors of Poc-Chuc remain. The pork is slow cooked to keep it moist and tender, and the onions added to it round out the flavors nicely. The meat used to be cooked with hot embers, but modern methods include the use of the oven.


  • Pork roast
  • 1 1/4 cup sour orange juice (fresh squeezed if possible)
  • 1 tablespoon achiote paste
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • Onion topping- See below
  • Chiltomate sauce- See below


Rinse the roast and pat it dry. Rub the achiote paste over it and place in an airtight plastic bag. Whisk together 3/4 cup of the juice, salt and peppercorns and pour over the meat. Seal the bag and marinate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the roast in a covered baking dish and cook it for about 3 hours. Baste the meat with the liquids ever 30-45 minutes. Turn up the heat to 400 degrees and cook for another 30 minutes.

Remove meat from oven and let it sit for about 15 minutes and then slice it into 1/2 inch slices. Drizzle the remaining orange juice over the sliced meat and top with the onions and some Chiltomate sauce. Depending on the size of the roast, it serves 4-6 people.

Onion Topping

  • 6 onions, sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lard or oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • splash of vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • pinch of salt
Add onions and water to a large pan, and cook over medium heat. When water has evaporated and onions are softened, add the lard or oil and continue to cook. Sprinkle in the coriander an add the splash of vinegar and the sugar. Cook for an additional 10 minutes.

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