Cuban pork with black beans and rice is a favorite of mine. When my husband and I lived in Florida, this succulent pork dish called lechon asado was common at many restaurants. If you are familiar with my blog, you know that we now live in New Hampshire. When I want a reminder of the tropical climate and cuisine that we left behind, I make my version of Cuban pork with black beans and rice.
My Cuban pork is a slow roasted pork shoulder. The pork used in this recipe is sometimes called a Boston butt or even a fresh unsmoked ham, depending on where you live. This is a simple dish to prepare. Once it is prepped, it can be placed in an oven and roasted to perfection. I have also prepared it in a slow cooker. Of course it won’t have those lovely, crispy bits but it will still be fall off the bone tender. It will also have that same great flavor of garlic mixed with sweet and tart citrus .
My Version of Cuban Pork
Make a paste of 4 garlic cloves, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. dried oregano, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper and 1/2 tsp. of cumin.
Make pockets about an inch deep with the tip of a boning knife all over a pork shoulder (4 to 6 lb. bone in or 2 to 3 lb. boneless) and push some of the paste into each opening.
Make a mojo sauce by heating 2 Tbsp. of olive oil in a pan. Add 1 onion sliced thin and 2 garlic cloves, minced and heat until just turning soft. Remove from the heat. Add 1 cup of orange juice and the juice of 2 limes and 1 lemon. Add 1 tsp. dried oregano, 1/2 tsp. cumin, salt and pepper to taste. (You can also buy a ready made mojo sauce, Goya being the most popular).
Place the pork roast in a roasting pan and pour mojo all over. For additional flavor you can marinate the pork in the refrigerator for several hours or over night but this step is not necessary.
Roast the pork with the mojo in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes then turn down the oven to 300 degrees, cover the pork with foil and roast until fork tender. This can take anywhere from 3 to 5 hours, depending on the size of the pork roast you are cooking. Baste every once in a while, add some water or chicken stock if the juices start to cook away. this recipe can serve a large group by simply buying a larger roast and increasing the mojo recipe.
Why not invite a group of friends over for a little taste of the Caribbean. Start the evening off with a Mojito or Cuba Libre (rum and coke).
If you want to have some additional side dishes, you might want to serve sliced avocado dressed with olive oil and lime, yuca with garlic sauce or sautéed sweet plantains. Garnish the dishes with chopped cilantro or parsley and serve with lime wedges.
For dessert you could serve a flan.
Whether preparing this meal for two or twenty, you will be thinking about a soft warm breeze, sand between your toes, and the sound of waves coming ashore. Oh…we can dream, can’t we.