Three Guys From Miami: Cuban and Spanish Food Recipes

Jorge Castillo: When we don't have the time...

Raúl Musibay: ...or enough hungry Cubans around...

Jorge Castillo: ...to roast a whole pig, we make our Lechon Asado using a fresh, bone in ham.

Glenn Lindgren: Many butchers in other parts of the United States call this a "green" ham. Just make sure you ask for an un-smoked or un-processed ham with the skin still on.

Raúl Musibay: That's the most important part -- you need the skin and the layer of fat underneath. If you cannot find a fresh ham, substitute a pork shoulder roast

Jorge Castillo: You can cook your lechón in the oven or outside on the grill. A covered grill (such as the Webber kettle) where you can bank the coals to the side, leaving an empty space beneath your ham, works best.

Glenn Lindgren: I've had good luck with a gas grill. Just turn off the middle burner and adjust the front and back burners to keep the grill at the right temperature.

Raúl Musibay: Finally, you can also make this on top of the stove in a large Dutch oven. Adjust the heat to low, cover and cook until completely done.

Jorge Castillo: My sister Esther usually adds a fresh ham or two when we do our pig roasts, just to make sure there's plenty of lechón for everyone!


Lechón Asado -- Roast Pork Cuban-Style

By Three Guys From Miami



Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 4 to 8 hours
Total time: 5 hours 15 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

Cook this roast slowly to make it tender and flavorful.

INGREDIENTS:

6-pound fresh ham or pork shoulder roast

20 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 and 1/2 cups sour orange juice (If you can't get sour orange juice in your area, use two parts orange to one part lemon and one part lime)
1 cup onion, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
1 and 1/2 cups olive oil
Mash the garlic, salt, and peppercorns together with a mortar and pestle.

Add dried oregano, onion, and the sour orange to make a mash -- mix thoroughly.

Heat the olive oil in a 2-quart saucepan until hot, but NOT deep frying hot! We're looking for something in the neighborhood of 220 degrees F. Remove the saucepan from the heat source. Carefully add the mash to the hot oil and whisk gently. Let cool.

Pierce the pork as many times as you can with a sharp knife or fork.

Pour garlic mixture (save a little for roasting) over pork, cover and let sit in refrigerator for 2-3 hours or preferably overnight.

Oven

To roast in the oven, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place the fresh ham or pork shoulder, fattest side up, in an open roasting pan. Place pan in oven and reduce temperature to 225 degrees F. Spoon extra marinade over the roast occasionally as it cooks. Using a meat thermometer, roast should be removed from the oven when the internal temperature reaches 195 degrees F. -- for fork tender, "pulled-pork" quality. (If you want a roast you can slice, remove when the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F.)

Immediately cover with foil and let rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Grill

Use a covered grill, such as the Webber kettle or a covered gas grill. Bank the coals to each side, leaving an empty space beneath your fresh ham or pork shoulder roast. If using a gas grill, use front and rear burners only. The idea is to cook with indirect heat. You want a low heat, so do not over do it with the coals!

Spoon extra marinade over the roast occasionally as it cooks. If not using a gas grill, add charcoal to the sides as needed to maintain roasting temperature. Using a meat thermometer, roast should be removed from the grill when the temperature reaches 195 degrees F. -- for fork tender, "pulled-pork" quality. (If you want a roast you can slice, remove when the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F.)

Immediately cover with foil and let rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving. The roast will continue to cook after you remove it from the heat.

Stovetop

Place the fresh ham or pork shoulder in a large Dutch oven, or a covered stock pan -- whatever you have that the pork will fit in. Add about one cup of marinade to the pan. Bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to low, cover and cook until completely done. Add additional marinade as needed to keep at least one inch of liquid in bottom of pan -- otherwise the roast will burn. Using a meat thermometer, roast should be removed from the pan when the temperature reaches 195 degrees F. -- for fork tender, "pulled-pork" quality. (If you want a roast you can slice, remove when the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F.)

Servings based on the size of your ham. Allow about 1/4 to 1/2 pound per person, depending on side dishes.

This recipe and editorial content from: "Three Guys From Miami Cook Cuban" Copyright ©2004 All Rights Reserved.

No copying or commercial duplication of any content (including photos) without the express written permission of the authors and proper attribution.

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