Once Upon a Time in Mexico, against all odds, played a large role in the creation of BwB - my first-ever DVD, its special features showed me that I could one day be a filmmaker *and* a chef. In this 2003 Banderas action-comedy, Johnny Depp inexplicably caps a cook for making this Yucatánian special a bit too perfectly; as director Robert Rodriguez says, make at your own peril.
5 tablespoons annatto seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons cumin seed
8 allspice berries
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup white vinegar
5 lemons, juiced
2 habanero peppers, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons salt
Splash of quality anejo tequila
5 pounds pork butt, trimmed and cut into 2” cubes
2 banana leaves, cut into 16” segments
Cooked white rice
1 red onion, sliced
4 cups apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
Makes six 4-6 servings
Toast annatto seeds, peppercorns, cloves, cumin, and allspice in a dry sauté pan for 3-5 minutes over medium heat, until fragrant. Pour into a spice grinder and process into a fine powder, 2-3 minutes.
In a blender, combine orange juice, vinegar, lemon juice, habanero peppers, salt, tequila, and ground spices. Blend on high speed for 30-60 seconds, until well-combined. Combine marinade and pork in a large plastic bag, massage until evenly coated, and allow to marinate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325F. Line a deep casserole with banana leaves, and pour pork into the center. Wrap banana leaves around the pork, seal tightly with aluminum foil, and roast for 4 hours.
Serve with rice, lime slices, and cilantro.
To serve with tacos: while pork roasts, combine red onion and mustard seeds in a large heatproof bowl, and cover with boiling apple cider vinegar. Let steep for 30 minutes, and serve over tacos.