Monday, April 15, 2013

Celebration Recipe for a crowd

Roast Pork, Puerco Assado Cuban Style

When people hear me speaking Spanish, they will often ask where I am from. I am a prairie girl from Manitoba but was married to a Cuban, and lived Cuban for several years. I still love the country, the culture the food, etc. Righ now we are continuing to be in winter, even though it is April 15th, I think we should try and bring on the spring by Eating Cuban food.

Here is one of our classic recipes for any and all celebrations.

One 10-15 pound pork leg(1 Lb per person) prepared by the butcher for roasting

8-10 cloves garlic, or to taste

2 tsp dried oregano

3-4 tsp salt

freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 cups sour (Seville) orange juice or 1 cup sweet orange juice mixed with 1/2 cup each fresh lime juice and lemon juice

2 bay leaves, crumbled


Make sure you have a large enough pan with generous sides, so the fat will not splatter. Be sure and check if this will fit in your oven and in your refrigerator for overnight marinating.

1. One day before cooking, wash the pig inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. In a mortar, combine the garlic, oregano and salt, and mash to a paste. Place the pig in a large pan, rub it inside and out with the garlic paste, season it liberally with salt and pepper and pour the soured juices over it. Sprinkle with the crumbled bay leaves. Cover the pig with aluminum foil and refrigerate 24 hours.

2. Three to 5 hours before serving, preheat the oven to 375 F degrees, remove the pig from the marinade and reserve the marinade. Place the pig in a shallow aluminum foil-lined roasting pan, insert a wad of foil in the mouth to keep it open, cover the ears with foil and brush the skin with oil. Insert a meat thermometer in the hind leg, making sure it does not touch bone, if you are unsure about cooking time.

3. Roast the pig 1 hour, lower the oven to 350F degrees and bake 2-5 hours more (depending upon the size) basting frequently with oil, juices, and reserved marinade. Remove the foil halfway through the baking time.

4. When the pig is done to an internal temperature of 185F-190F degrees, the skin is a golden brown, and the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a fork, transfer to a large platter and allow to rest 15-20 minutes before carving. (The meat will be very well done and practically falling from the bones).

Makes 10-12 servings (for Cubans, would likely serve 20 plus Canadians).

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