Robert Rodriguez, cooler than you, part II: 10-Minute Cooking School

Further proof of the superior awesomeness that is Robert Rodriguez: As a companion to his usual “Ten-Minute Film School” DVD extra, he adds one more tasteful interlude on the Once Upon a Time in Mexico release: the Ten-Minute Cooking School.

The chef eats it.In Mexico, Johnny Depp’s Agent Sands character fixates on a slow-roasted pork dish called puerco pibil. At one point, he tastes the perfect pibil. But as a CIA agent dedicated to “restoring the balance,” he deems it too good. To restore Mexico’s balance, he shoots the cook.

So, of course, puerco pibil is on the menu of the cooking school segment. A menu it is, too, since Rodriguez keeps a menu in his own kitchen for guests. He specializes in a few dishes and is ready to make any of them when a visitor requests one. He recommends that everyone choose three or four dishes and practice them on a regular basis until they get smokin’ good at them. Why?

“You have to eat every day of your life,” he says. “It might as well be good.” He goes so far to say that not knowing how to cook is like not knowing how to, uh, copulate properly. That’s right — cookin’ and copulatin’ are high-passion pastimes, and should be pursued with gusto. Thanks, perfesser!

Rodriguez demonstrates the perfect pibil in his own kitchen (which also seems pretty perfect).

“(This is) a very simple dish just complicated enough to impress your friends,” he says. “There is a little preparation with it, just a little bit more than your everyday couch potato would do. That’s what makes it cool.”

And this guy would know.


5 T annatto seeds
2 t cumin seeds
1 T black peppercorns
8 allspice
½ t cloves
2 habanero peppers
½ C orange juice
½ C white vinegar
2 T salt
8 cloves garlic
5 lemons
splash of high-quality tequila
5 lbs. pork butt
banana leaves

1.    Grind the spices in a grinder until very fine. In a blender, combine spices with the habaneros, orange juice, vinegar, salt and garlic until smooth. Juice the lemons into the bowl and add tequila.

2. Dice the pork butt into 2-inch squares. Place inside Ziploc bag and pour marinade over all. Let sit for 4 hours or overnight in a refrigerator.

3. Line a baking sheet or jelly roll pan with banana leaves, and pour out the Ziploc contents into the middle. Cover and wrap with more banana leaves, then seal with aluminum foil until tight and no steam can escape.

4. Cook at 325 for 4 hours. Serve over Spanish rice.

5. Put on your Kevlar and expect to be shot.

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