Saturday, May 8, 2010

Preparing a Cuban Pork Shoulder Roast

I decided to make a pork shoulder for Mother's Day along with black beans and white rice. I like to marinate my pork shoulder for at least 24 hours. This is how I prepare it.
one 9 lb pork shoulder
8 cloves garlic pressed
8 cloves garlic peeled and sliced in half
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp rosemary (chopped or pressed)
1 tbsp oregano
1 cup lime juice
1 cup orange juice

Remove your pork shoulder from the packaging and rinse it under cold water. Stab it (yes, stab it) with a small knife several times in different spots inserting a piece of garlic as you go (push the garlic in as far as you can).
Prepare the marinade (mojo): in a bowl,  pour the lime juice and orange juice, add your pressed garlic, oregano, rosemary and tablespoon salt. Pour this over the pork shoulder and rub the spices into the meat, sprinkle more salt and pepper all over. Cover and refrigerate until the next day.
The next day place your pork shoulder covered with aluminum foil in a pre-heated 350 degree oven. Roast for 5 to 6 hours until fall-off-the-bone tender.


  1. Ivonne, that marinated pork shoulder (paleta) looks just too fabulous! That is exactly the way I make it, except instead of the rosemary i use finely chopped dry bay leaves (about the same amount as in your recipe). And of course, if I get my hands on some bitter oranges (naranjas agrias) then I truly die and go to heaven, because then you don't have to mix the lemon (I prefer lime for this; I find more acidic and therefore balances the sweetness of the OJ better) with OJ to get an approximation to the bitter orange juice needed for mojo. I probably also use more salt, since pork is a delicately flavored meat, and can be a little bland if you don't salt it enough... God, am I envious! You guys are gonna have paleta de puerco asada tonight, just the way it's supposed to be made, and here I am, eating my boring bowl of multi-grain cereal with dry fruit and slivered almonds... YUCK!!!! Love ya all.

  2. Happy Mother's Day, Cubana in the Midwest!!!! Kisses.

  3. Thank you Pedro. Kiss for you. I'll be posting a picture of the roasted pork later.

  4. Ivonne, it looks so good!

  5. Thank you Anonymous. It was yummy. There were 8 of us at dinner, and it's basically all gone now, only enough left to make a sandwich.

  6. One question: Do you think this would work in a slow cooker?

  7. Othelia, timewise, it takes a good 5 to 6 hours in a regular oven to cook a roast of this size, so take that into consideration. With a slow cooker you would have to start the night before (it may not even fit into a slow cooker). The flavor would be the same, but you won't get the crunchy skin, and you will have to remove some of the excess fat/juices as it cooks so that it won't end up "boiled." I've made pork loins in the slow cooker and they've turned out well. And, although I've only seen a Cuban Roast Pork roasted in an oven or a barbeque pit or caja china, I'm always open to new ideas.

  8. Enjoyed your pork roast...making Masitas De Puerco Fritas this very weekend!!

  9. Glad I could be of assistance! :)

  10. Let's not forget the best part of the roast: The Chicharone! The beauty of doing the cooking is first shot of the skin.

    Best wishes...

  11. bkhuna....Yes, the crunchy skin is the most anticiapted. Thanks for reading and commenting, best wishes for you.

  12. Looks delicious! I'm going to try this out for the first time, but I have a few questions. Do you put this in a roasting pan with a lid or just a regular baking dish and completely seal it with aluminum foil? Also, do you uncover it at the end to allow for browning and the skin to crisp or just leave it covered?

  13. Claudia, I use a regular baking dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Ive never used a roating pan, but I'm sure that could work as well. Uncover it about an hour before it's done to brown. You can check it halfway through to baste it with its drippings. Be aware that although it may look done, unless it is literally falling off the bone it is not done and needs more time. You can re-cover it after it has browned to ensure it doesn't dry out.

  14. Ivonne,
    I'm making a paleta for Christmas day and since I haven't made one in a very long time, I sought your blog out to see how you've made yours.
    Someone gave me a recipe very similar to yours but said I need to put in the oven at 200 degrees for about 7 hours. Then take the aluminum off and raise the temp to 350 for about an hour (like you). My question is this. Do you set the pork right on the pan or would it be a good idea to set it on a rack, in the pan, so that it doesn't cook with all the grease. Then again, my friend says the grease is good for the flavor. Do you agree?
    Thanks! Merry Christmas!

  15. Maria I place the pork right in the pan. After a few hours if I see there is too much grease/liquid at the bottom of the pan I remove much of it. Don't throw it out, put it into a bowl. Remember it will have the mojo juices in it also, and you can use it to add to the sliced pork especially if you have leftovers and need to reheat the next day.

  16. Very good idea. I was told to throw out the water/grease when it filled the pan. But your idea sounds much better!
    Thanks again. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  17. HI Ivonne,
    Sounds relish. Do you place the fat end of the pork to the bottom of the aluminum pan or on top?
    Can't wait to taste this. My first paleta

  18. Elizabeth, put the fatty end towards the top. The fat juices will drip down into the meat, and it will be facing up to brown at the end.