Scottsdale’s Barrio Queen restaurant shares their secret Cochinita Pibil recipe

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A City For Foodies – Scottsdale, Arizona

Psst we’re compensated…see our disclosures.

Scottsdale was named the #2 Best Foodie City in the United States by Livability; those are some bragging rights! With great food and a diverse mix of cultures, Scottsdale’s culinary landscape is on fire. So when the city of Scottsdale asked me to explore the scene through a video series called “Flavors of Scottsdale” I said…absolutely not…UNLESS…I get the secret recipes…can share them with the world…and am allowed to taste my way through the production…then my answer is YES!!!  And, oh by the way…how fast can we begin?!?! (Shhhh, don’t tell them how excited I was to be part of the project. It just doesn’t seem right to have that much fun so let this be our little secret!)

Scottsdale Ranked #2 Best Foodie City by Livability
Scottsdale Ranked #2 Best Foodie City by Livability

Barrio Queen’s Secret Recipe for Cochinita Pibil – Mexican Slow-Roasted Pork

Jeff Cohen, Director of Operations and trained Chef, spilled the beans on one of Barrio Queen’s favorite dishes… authentic Cochinita Pibil – Mexican slow-roasted pork. In addition to that signature dish, they have over 20 varieties of street tacos and over 500 tequilas!!! Be sure to check their website for details on Taco Tuesdays!  Congrats to Barrio Queen for winning Esquire magazine’s award for Best New Restaurants in America after they first opened in 2012!

Barrio Queen has a hip vibe in the dining room and awesome food and drink
Barrio Queen has a hip vibe in the dining room and awesome food and drink

You say you want atmosphere?

Located in the Southbridge district of Downtown, Barrio Queen has a great vibe and outdoor patio which is awesome for people-watching while eating and drinking your way through your Barrio Queen fare.

Barrio Queen at Southbridge in Downtown Scottsdale
Barrio Queen at Southbridge in Downtown Scottsdale

Barrio Queen  is located at
7114 E. Stetson Drive Suite 105
Scottsdale, Arizona 85251
P: 480-656-4197

“Flavors of Scottsdale” is sponsored by Downtown Scottsdale, home to the restaurants featured along with dozens more, and by the City of Scottsdale’s Office of Diversity, which supports and promotes the city’s commitment to an inclusive community.

Cochinita Pibil Recipe courtesy of Barrio Queen

Total time: 3 hrs 45 min plus marinating time
Prep: 15 min
Marinate: 12 to 24 hrs
Cook: 3 hrs 30 min
Yield: Approx. 5 lbs


1 large pork butt or shoulder (approx. 5 lbs)
1 cup achiote paste
¼ cup salt
¼ cup pepper
¼ cup dried oregano
¼ cup fresh chopped garlic
1 cup sour orange juice
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
2 banana leaves


Clean and trim pork of extra fat. Place clean pork in deep roasting pan with high sides. Coat the pork well on both sides evenly with salt, pepper, oregano, then fresh garlic and massage the spices into the pork.

Pour achiote paste and sour orange over the pork, massaging into both sides and marinate for 12-24 hours in the refrigerator. When ready to cook, let the pork come up to room temperature (about 30 minutes).

Remove the center core from the banana leaves and run under hot tap water until they become soft and pliable. Pat dry with paper towels and cut in half horizontally; overlap the two pieces of leaf so that they roughly form a rectangle on the bottom of a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or pan and add the pork, then place remaining banana leaf on top.

Pour water slowly down the side of the pan, between the pan and pork, so as not to wash off the spice rub and marinade.

Cover with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil and cook in oven at 300 degrees for 3.5 hours until fork tender (or really slow and low at 225 degrees for 12 hours). Serve with tortillas, pickled onions and fresh salsa.

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