-----------------------------PICKLED RED ONIONS-----------------------------
24 oz Red onions sliced 1/8 inch 32 oz Sour orange juice
21 oz Or lime juice 11 oz Or orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1. The Achiote Marinade. Measure the achiote seeds and oregano into a spice grinder, adding the black pepper, cumin, cloves and cinnamon, and run the grinder until everything's as powdery as you can get it (you may need to work in batches).
In a blender, combine the ground mixture with salt, the garlic and sour orange juice (or lime juice plus orange juice). Blend until smooth, there should be very little grittiness when a little is rubbed between your fingers. If you're working ahead, pour the mixture into a non aluminum container, cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or longer. Before using, blend the mixture again to give it an even smoother texture. (The long steeping and second blending aren't absolutely essential, though without it, the marinade may be a little gritty.)
2. Marinating the Meat. In a large bowl or large heavy plastic food bag, combine the meat and marinade, turning the meat to coat it evenly. (Though achiote has tenacious coloring properties, I suggest you do this quickly with your hands.) For the greatest penetration of flavor, let the meat marinate refrigerated (covered if in a bowl) for several hours, or even
3. Slow - Grilling the Pork. Heat a gas grill to medium high or light a charcoal fire and let it burn just until the coals are covered with gray ash and very hot. Using scissors, cut off the hard edge you'll find on most banana leaves (where the leaf attached to the central rib). Cut 3 sections of banana leaf, each about 1 foot longer than the length of a large roasting pan. Line the bottom and sides of the roasting pan with the leaves, overlapping them generously and letting them hang over the edges of the pan. Lay the meat in the pan and drizzle with all the marinade. Fold the banana leaf edges over the meat. Cut 3 more sections of banana
leaf slightly longer than the pan. Lay them over the top of the meat, again generously overlapping; tuck them in around the sides. When the grill is ready, either turn the burner(s) in the center to medium low or bank the coals to the sides for indirect cooking. For the charcoal grill, set the grill grate in place. Set the pan on the grill grate and close the grill cover. Grill until the meat is thoroughly tender (work a fork in near the a bone - the meat should easily come free), usually about 4 hours. If your grill has a thermometer, aim to keep the temperature between 300 and 350 degrees. To maintain an even temperature with charcoal, add more charcoal regularly (usually a few pieces every hour or so).
While the meat is cooking, prepare the onions. Scoop the onions into a non aluminum bowl. Pour boiling water over them and wait 10 seconds, then pour the onions into a strainer. Return the drained onions to the bowl, pour on the sour orange juice (or the lime orange combo) and stir in teaspoons salt. Cover and set aside until serving time.