Hispanic Heritage Month, observed September 15 – October 15, is a nationally recognized time to honor and celebrate the cultures, contributions and achievements of the Hispanic and Latino people throughout the United States. Lettuce is fortunate to be led and operated by a number of leaders of Hispanic and Latino descent. One thing that holds true is that food is always a great unifier, and you will find that it often takes center stage for annual festivals, parades, block parties, and backyard reunions to honor Hispanic family traditions. Lettuce Entertain You Chefs and Partners Raul Gutierrez and Osvaldo (Ozzie) Ocegueda, both of Mexican heritage, are no strangers to cooking up delicious meals for their families as well as our guests. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, these chefs are sharing their family recipes that showcase the flavors and traditions of their upbringing including Chef Raul’s Cochinita Pibil and Chef Ozzie’s Pork Tamales.

Raul and Ozzie working a wok

See what they’re cooking up for Hispanic Heritage Month and do try these recipes at home!

Big Bowl’s Executive Chef and Partner Raul Gutierrez shares his family recipe for Cochina Pibil, a traditional dish from Southern Mexico that is typically prepared underground, a unique and traditional way to prepare slow roasted pork. This recipe has been in his family for generations and he and his wife Maria prepare this for their family gatherings and celebrations.

To download the full recipe for Chef Raul’s Cochinita Pibil, click here. 

 

Cochinita Pibil Recipe
Serving size: 5 – 6 people
From Chef Raul Gutierrez

Cocinita Pibil
Photo credit: Carolyn Katz Photography

INGREDIENTS FOR ADOBO SAUCE:
1 tube (3 – 4 oz.) Achiote Paste (chef recommends El Yucateco Paste Achiote)
⅓ cup Fresh Orange Juice
⅓ cup White Vinegar
1 tsp dry Mexican Oregano (regular oregano will also suffice)
1 tsp Ground White Pepper
½ tsp Ground Black Pepper
½ Cinnamon
4 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1 tsp Ground Ancho Chile
1 Tbsp Crushed Red Pepper
2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
½ cup Canola Oil

INGREDIENTS FOR COCHINITA PIBIL:
3 lbs Pork Shoulder
Banana Leaves, roasted as needed

METHOD FOR ADOBO SAUCE:
1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth, set aside.

METHOD FOR PORK:
1. Cut the pork into 4 inch chunks.
2. Add in the Adobo sauce and let marinade for about 24-hours in the refrigerator.

METHOD FOR COCHINITA:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Using tongs, carefully cook the banana leaves over a low flame on your stove top until soft, a few seconds on each side.
3. Place the banana leaves in a baking pan.
4. Add the marinated pork on top of the banana leaves.
5. Cover the marinated pork with another layer of banana leaves, so it is completely covered by the leaves. If you do not have enough banana leaves, it is OK to just cover with foil.
6. Cover the dish in aluminum foil and place in the oven.

Cochihnita Pibil in pan
Photo credit: Carolyn Katz Photography

7. Cook at 350 degrees for about 3.5 – 4 hours (depending on how big the chunks of pork are cut).
8. Ensure the meat is nice and tender and use a fork to shred the meat, it should easily come apart.

Cochinita Pibil
Photo credit: Carolyn Katz Photography

9. Mix the shredded meat with all of the juices in the pan.
10. Serve alongside rice and beans and enjoy!

 

Chef Ozzie Ocegueda was born in Jalisco, Mexico, where large family gatherings are a tradition. Two of his families’ favorite foods to make are Pozole (a traditional soup or stew) and Tamales. Pozole is such a delight to both make and enjoy, it’s often described as Mexican Ramen because it is a rich pork broth, shredded pork, hominy with all the vegetables on top, plus a squeeze of lime for a bit of acidity.

Pozole from chef Ozzie

Making tamales is a team effort. Everybody comes together to build their favorite tamales, then they all gather to enjoy them right out of the pot. Tamales is a small steamed cake of dough that is made from corn flour. You can stuff them with pork or other ingredients to add flavor.

Chef Ozzie with Tamales

To download the full recipe for Chef Ozzie’s Tamales with Pork, click here. 

 

Tamales with Pork Recipe
Serving size 10-12 pieces
From Chef Ozzie Ocegueda

Tamales from Chef Ozzie

INGREDIENTS FOR THE MEAT:
1 lb Pork Butt
½ Yellow Onion, cut in half
1 Garlic Clove, whole
5 Guajillos Chile
Kosher Salt to taste

INGREDIENTS FOR THE MASA:
2 lbs Dry Corn Flour (Chef recommends Maseca brand)
1 cup Pork Broth (see method to make the broth)
½ tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Kosher Salt
¼ cup Lard (soft)

INGREDIENTS FOR THE TAMALES:
12-15 dry Corn husks, (Chef recommends La Costeña brand)
2 Tbsp of masa for each corn husk
2 Tbsp shredded pork meat for each corn husk
2 Tbsp mole for each corn husk

METHOD FOR MEAT:
1. Cut the pork into 2 inch cubes.
2. Place all ingredients in a pot and fill with water.
3. Cook for 30 – 45 minutes or until the meat is tender at medium heat, leave it uncovered.
4. Remove all ingredients from water which is now your pork broth.
5. Place the pork on a sheet pan to cool and shred when possible.
6. Take the remaining ingredients (chiles, onion and garlic) and place in a blender and add ½ cup of the pork broth and blend.
7. When fully blended, strain and set aside. This is your mole. Season to taste with salt.

METHOD FOR MASA:
1. Place all ingredients in a mixer and mix for about 4 minutes, fully blend to achieve a smooth, doughy substance
2. Remove from the mixer and set aside.

METHOD FOR TAMALES:
1. Place the corn husks in warm water for 15 minutes to rehydrate and soften.
2. Take the wet corn husks and dry off excess water. On the smoother side of the husk, spread 2 Tbsp masa in the middle from top to bottom (the wider end of the husk to about ½ of the way towards the narrow end).
3. Place the 2 Tbsp of meat on top of the masa and then the 2 Tbsp of mole.
4. Fold in the left and ride sides of the tamale and then fold the bottom tip up (almost in half) to fully close the tamale.
5. Once the tamales are wrapped, carefully stack them in a steaming pot with the fold facing the bottom of the pot.
6. Steam for 30 minutes, over medium heat, then remove from heat and let them rest for 15 minutes.
7. Serve and enjoy!

 

Want to learn more about Chef Raul and Chef Ozzie’s journey to become Executive Chefs and Partners at Lettuce Entertain You? Check out their story here.