Tangy Yucatecan Grilled Pork with Roasted Onions and Fresh Garnishes

Poc Chuc
Servings: 4


  • 2medium white onions, unpeeled
  • 1 1/2pounds well-trimmed, thin-cut, boneless pork steaks, cut from the shoulder or leg OR 1 1/2 pounds thin-cut, boneless pork chops
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2cup lime juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning the meat and vegetables
  • 3cups thinly sliced cabbage
  • 1/3cup roughly chopped cilantro, plus a few sprigs for garnish
  • 1pound (2 medium-large round) ripe tomatoes, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1large avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced 1/4-inch thick


Roasting the onions. Light a charcoal fire and let it burn until all the coals are medium- hot and covered with gray ash. Nestle the onions directly in the coals and let them roast until charred on the outside and soft within, about 20 minutes.

Preparing the meat and vegetables. While the onions are roasting, pound the meat with a flat mallet to about 1/8 inch thick. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of the sour orange (or 3 tablespoons lime) juice, cover and set aside.

Cool the onions until handleable, peel the charred outer layers off, then cut what remains into 1/2-inch squares. Toss with 1/4 cup of the sour orange (or about 3 tablespoons lime) juice and season with salt and pepper.

Toss the cabbage with the cilantro and the remaining 1/4 cup of the sour orange (or 3 tablespoons lime) juice; season with salt and pepper. Spread onto a large serving platter about 14-inches or so in diameter. Decorate the perimeter with alternating slices of tomato and avocado, and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.

Grilling and serving. Stoke your fire with new charcoal and let it get really hot. Sprinkle both sides of the meat generously with salt and pepper. Working with a couple of pieces at a time, grill the pork: let it sear about 2 minutes on one side, then flip it over and sear on the other. (The total cooking time for 1/8-inch pork steaks over a very hot fire will be no more than 3 or 4 minutes.)

Lay the meat slightly overlapping down the center of the platter and strew the onions over the meat. Decorate with a few cilantro sprigs and serve without delay, accompanied by salsa and baskets of hot tortillas.


  1. I have read and reread the ingredient list and the directions in this recipe and I cannot figure out what you mean by 1/4 cup sour orange (or 3 tablespoons lime). The ingredients list 1/4 cup orange juice and 1/2 cup lime juice. It says nothing about mixing them or anything about using lime juice versus “sour” orange juice. What am I missing?

    1. Sorry about that. In order to create the sour orange mixture add the orange juice and lime juice together to create sour orange.

    2. It is always a proportion of 2 parts of lime juice to 1 part of orange juice.
      I just watched Rick preparing this recipe but he salted the meat after flattering it and let it rest for several hours.

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