Poc Chuc (Orange-and-Lime-Marinated Grilled Pork)

Time45 minutes, plus 2½ hours resting
YieldsServes 6 to 8
Thinly sliced pork shoulder surrounded by blue corn tortillas and cut avocado, limes, radishes and onions.
Thinly sliced pork shoulder grills up quickly after marinating in a bright mix of orange and lime juices and zests.
(Ren Fuller)
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The first thing that drew me to this dish is how beautiful it is — charred onion, fresh radish and avocado give a pop of color to the citrusy, charred pork steaks. The flavor of the meat is so bright and immediately takes me back to Valladolid, a beautiful town about an hour and a half inland from Tulum. It was there that I first tried poc chuc, a signature dish of the Yucatán with Mayan origins. The pork is sliced very thinly so it can absorb the fresh orange and lime marinade quickly and thoroughly — this also allows for a quick cook time on a hot grill. Save yourself two hours and some hassle by asking your butcher to thinly slice your pork shoulder.


Place the pork shoulder on a parchment-lined sheet pan and freeze, uncovered, until almost completely frozen, for about 2 hours.


Using a very sharp knife, thinly slice the pork crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick pieces. Transfer to a large zip-top freezer bag set inside a large bowl and refrigerate until ready to marinate.


In a medium bowl, whisk the lime zest and juice, orange zest and juice, garlic, salt and black pepper. Pour over the pork, seal the bag, and squeeze the bag to coat the pork. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 90 minutes.


Prepare a gas grill for high heat. Use tongs and an old, clean kitchen towel to brush the grates with oil. (Alternatively, prepare a charcoal grill for high heat.)


Remove the pork from the marinade, shaking off any excess; brush off the garlic and zests. Grill the pork, turning once, until charred, for 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut into 2-inch pieces.


Grill the onion quarters, turning them occasionally, until charred on all sides, for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board. Cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces and separate the individual layers of the onion.


Arrange the pork on a large platter. Top with the charred onion, radish slices, avocado slices, and cilantro leaves. Serve with warm corn tortillas, salsa, pickled habaneros and lime wedges.

Adapted from “Mi Cocina” (Clarkson Potter, 2022) by Rick Martínez.