Lechon Asado - Cuban Style Slow Roasted Pork with Citrus Flavours
In Cuba and in much of South America, the Caribbean Jerk flavours and heat shade away to more subtle and softer spicing, often mixed with a tang of citrus to perk up fatty meat. Slow cooking is a great way to get the best value out of a cheaper cut and is also highly convenient for the chef. The dish can be made ahead and warmed up to feed your multitude on a special occasion. You would find Cubans eating this at Christmas or New Year as part of their festive feasting, along with black beans and yucca cooked in mojo sauce.
Serves 8 Timings: overnight marinade, then 4 ½ hours slow cooking
If the pork is tied up, snip the strings and unroll the meat. If the rind and skin are on the meat, slice it off, but leaving a good layer of fat.
Blend the ingredients for the mojo marinade until you get a creamy light sauce. Reserve about 1/3 of this and use the other 2/3 to rub into the meat.
Marinate the meat in the fridge overnight, turning occasionally.
Pre heat the oven to 160°C. Place the meat in a roasting tin and cover well with foil. Cook the meat for about 2 hours at 160°C and then turn up the heat to 180°C and roast for a further 2 hours. Every now and then pour off some of the dripping from the meat, baste, and re-cover the pork.
About an hour from the end of cooking, use some of the fat from the meat drippings to start frying the sliced onions. Fry until softened and transparent but don’t let them brown or catch, you need them quite softly cooked. When cooked, let them cool a little and then blend them up with the reserved mojo.
After about 4 hours cooking, remove the meat from the oven. Pour off any excess cooking liquid but leave a few spoonfuls. Shred the meat with two forks, tearing it apart and tearing it off the bones. Take out the bones. You will be left with a pile of lovely tender cooked aromatic pork meat. Now mix the mojo and onion sauce through the meat, turn with another spoonful of pan drippings and put back in the oven for the final half hour at 200°C. If you leave the meat uncovered, you will get some crispy bits around the edge and the sauce will cook down, or you can leave it covered for a juicier result.
Mix again before serving and eat with plain rice, black beans and maybe some carrots cooked in citrus glaze.
A Hug from the Kitchen
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