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Sara's Secrets: Cuban-Style Roast Pork

Another recipe from the "Cooking Ahead" chapter of Sara's Secrets for Weeknight Meals . The flavorful marinade makes for a tasty, tender pork roast.

Sara Moulton doesn't give a whole lot of information about the different styles of pork roasts with this recipe, merely saying to use a "pork shoulder." But there are several different types of pork shoulder, and it's important to use the kind that's most suitable for braising. I recommend that you use a Boston butt, also known as a blade roast, shoulder blade roast, or pork shoulder butt. This cut is superior to the picnic roast, which also comes from the shoulder of the pig.

Moulton also specifies "adobo seasoning," without bothering to give any details about this product. Adobo can be a dry spice mixture, a sauce, or a paste. Depending on how well stocked your market is and where in the country you are, you might find several different types of adobo-style seasoning. I'm assuming that Moulton probably means dry seasoning here. But you can easily use the paste or sauce types instead. All of them have excellent flavor.

Some Boston butt roasts are cut into smaller portions for retail sale. If you find a Boston butt that's only 4 or 5 pounds, and you don't need to cook a huge 8-pound roast anyway, feel free to use it. The smaller roast may cook in about 4 hours. You can tell when it's done by the tenderness: the meat should almost fall off the bone when poked with a knife.

This pork goes well with Rick's Black Beans. Sara Moulton also recommends serving it in Cuban-style sandwiches with sliced ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard.

Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus overnight marinating
Cook Time: 4 to 5 hours
Yield: 8 servings

One 8-pound bone-in fresh pork shoulder with skin (preferably a Boston butt or blade roast)
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
6 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 Tbsp)
1 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp dried oregano
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 Tbsp adobo seasoning

Using a small knife, make 1-inch-long incisions in the skin of the pork shoulder about 2 inches apart. Combine 3 Tbsp of the lime juice, the garlic, salt, pepper, and oregano. Rub the mixture into the slashes and along the underside of the pork. Combine the remaining lime juice, the vinegar, grapefruit juice, orange juice, and adobo seasoning in a bowl large enough to hold the meat. Add the pork, skin side up. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking.

To cook, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Transfer the pork and its marinade to a roasting pan. Cover the pan with a lid or aluminum foil and roast until very tender, 4 to 5 hours. Let cool slightly in the liquid, then transfer to a cutting board and discard the skin and excess fat. Slice and serve.




I did not like this. The large amount of vinegar permeated the pork and gave it an unpleasant acrid flavor. I gave some of it to the dog and threw most of it away.

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