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Recado Colorado (for Pibil)

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Recado Colorado (for Pibil)
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Ingredients (10)

  • 2 Tbsp dried oregano, Mexican preferred
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon, Mexican canela preferred
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup citrus juice
  • 1 1/2 oz packet ground achiote (Not paste)

I’m publishing this recipe to encourage the use of PREGROUND achiote; most recipes say to grind the seeds from scratch which is virtually impossible with a mortar and pestle.
The spice mix is based on starting with a 1.5 oz ‘standard’ packet of achiote powder and will marinate one pork shoulder or turkey or maybe two chickens.
For the citrus juce listed below sour (seville) oranges are traditional; if these aren’t available a mix of regular orange, lime and grapefruit will work fine.
If the meat will be marinated with fresh minced garlic, the garlic powder can be left out.
If you don’t have time to grind and mix spices or can’t find pure achiote, the paste is available in most Latino oriented markets (substitute for all dry spices).


  1. 1Grind any whole spices as necessary, then combine with the achiote and citrus juice and let the spices hydrate (bloom) for at least one hour.
  2. 2Keep the recado and any marinating meat in tightly closed containers inside a leakproof tray. Achiote will stain many plastics and your skin, so rinse off quickly as needed.
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