I was recently introduced to pork cooked with annatto at our favorite breakfast place, Blackbird. Matt had it as part of a breakfast taco and let me have a little bite. It was so good, I said we needed to try making it at home.
Annatto is the seed of the achiote tree that is commonly used in Latin American and Caribbean cooking. It is also used for it red color to dye cheeses and make food coloring. This stuff is red, so watch out when you are using it. You can find it at Hispanic groceries and a spice stores like Penzeys. The annatto seed has a slightly nutty, floral, peppery flavor, it is really perfect paired with the acidity of citrus. It really gives pork a fresh, bright flavor.
We served it over hot rice the first night and then had the leftovers as tacos with just some red onion. It really doesn't need much else.
We made this in a pressure cooker, but you could also do it in a crock pot or slow cook it in the oven or on the stove top. Your cooking time will increase to a couple of hours instead of 45 minutes.
4 cloves garlic
1 T annatto seeds, ground (you can also use ground annatto)
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t Mexican oregano
1/2 t allspice
1 1/2 lbs pork loin, cut into chunks
juice of one grapefruit juice
1 t olive oil
1 1/2 c chopped onion
1 14.5 oz can tomatoes
With a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic cloves. Add the annatto, cumin, oregano and allspice and grind into a paste. Rub all over the pork pieces. Put in a sealable bag with the grapefruit juice. Let marinade for 4 - 5 hours.
Sauté the onion in the olive oil until translucent. Add the onions, tomato, pork and 1 cup of the marinade. Cook in a pressure cooker on medium for 45 minutes. Pork should be very tender.
Approximately 174 calories per serving
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