While watching one of the cooking channels the other day I saw a prepared Cuban Pork Roast. Every slice looked as if they were cutting through butter, so tender and juicy. I just caught the tail end of the program so I didn’t see how it was seasoned but I was intrigued to learn more. What I found is that most Cuban roasts are cooked with a Mojo citrus blend made from fresh orange and lime juice that is spooned over the roast while it is roasting. A pork shoulder roast with the skin attached is traditionally used but sometimes hard to find. However, I did find a roast with the skin still attached on one side and roasted it skin side up. Leaving it uncovered in the oven proved to char the outer skin but left the most tender and flavorful pork underneath. This is definitely a new favorite that I’ll be making again soon!
You’ll need a 4 – 5 pound pork shoulder roast, preferably with the skin if you can find one. I found one with skin on the back side. Also you’ll need orange juice, lime juice, salt, garlic, white pepper, Mexican oregano, bay leaves and cumin.
The spices needed are Mexican oregano, a bay leaf, cumin powder, salt and white pepper. I peeled about 15 cloves of garlic to add also. Put the juice, garlic and spices in a blender and puree. Makes approx 2 cups.
Rub 1 – 2 tablespoons of salt over the pork ahead of time. If you have time, let the pork sit with the salt rub overnight or at least an hour prior to baking. Pour 1 cup of the citrus blend over the pork and bake at 325 degrees uncovered for 3 – 4 hours. I placed the roast skin side up.
I cut a whole onion julienne and place underneath and around the roast. Every hour spoon some of the reserved citrus blend over the pork. If the pork becomes too brown you may place an aluminum tent over the top but do not crimp the edges.
Let the roast sit for 15 minutes before slicing. You can take some of the pan juices along with the onion and any leftover citrus blend and heat in a skillet to make a Mojo sauce that can be drizzled over the pork.
1 (4 – 5 pound) Pork Shoulder Roast, preferably with the skin
1 – 2 tablespoons Salt
1 large Onion, sliced julienne
1 1/2 cups Orange Juice
1/2 cup Lime Juice
1 large Bay Leaf
2 teaspoons Mexican Oregano
1 teaspoon Cumin Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon White Pepper
12 – 15 cloves Garlic, peeled
Rinse and pat dry the pork shoulder roast. Sprinkle 1 – 2 tablespoons salt over the roast and rub in generously. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 1 hour.
Combine orange juice, lime juice and remaining ingredients in a blender and puree. Reserve 1 cup of the citrus blend and pour the remaining over the roast. Place the onion slices in and around the roast to cook in the juice and pan drippings. Place in a 325 degree oven and roast uncovered 3 – 4 hours or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. If roast becomes too dark place an aluminum foil tent over top but do not crimp edges. Pour a couple spoonfuls of the reserved citrus blend over the roast every hour until done. Let roast rest 15 minutes before slicing.
Mojo sauce can be made by collecting the pan drippings and cooked onions and placing in a skillet on top of the stove. Heat drippings and add any remaining citrus blend. Heat for 5 minutes over medium heat. Drizzle over sliced pork if desired.