Cuban Lechon Asado (Roasted Fresh Ham)

Total Time
2hrs 15mins
Prep 15 mins
Cook 2 hrs

This is a great recipe found in Steve Raichlen's cookbook 'Miami Spice'. The pork roast is wonderful. Easy to make. VERY flavourful. Leftovers are great in wraps!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. The day before you plan to serve this dish, trim the excess fat off the pork leg; make shallow slits all over the pork, using the tip of a knife; mash the garlic, salt, oregano, cumin, pepper, bay leaf and olive oil to a paste in a mortar; rub this mixture all over the roast, forcing it into the slits; combine the sour orange juice, sherry, and onions in a small bowl; place the roast in a large, heavy plastic bag; add the sour OJ mixture, making sure that the whole roast gets covered with the mixture; refrigerate and marinate the roast in the bag overnight, turning occasionally during the time.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Drain the roast, and pat dry, reserving the marinade; place it in a lightly oiled, nonreactive, heavy roasting pan; cook the roast for 1 hour, turning once or twice to brown it on all sides.
  4. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees; pour the marinade and onions over the pork; tent the pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil; (tear off a piece that is 1 1/2 times the width of your pan; fold it in half and crease the top; open it up, and place over the pan like a tent, tightly crimping edges to seal) continue roasting the pork, basting from time to time with the pan juices, until almost cooked, about 1 hour; add a little water or sherry if the pan dries out.
  5. Uncover the roast and continue cooking until the internal temp reads*at least* 150 degrees F on a meat thermometer, about 30 minutes more; (most Cubans like the meat well done, so after sitting, it should be up to 180 degrees--it's safer, also).
  6. Let the roast stand for 10 minutes before carving.
  7. Note: this is traditionally served with black bean soup and white rice, and fried, sweet plantains; for dessert, serve a rich flan and you're set!
Most Helpful

This is almost an authentic and traditional way of doing the lechon asado. What we usually use is a a whole pig, or the butt part of the leg.. Never use sherry and never only lime juice to make the marinade. If there is no sour orange (naranja agria) we mix lemon juice with orange juice to get the same taste. The more days you have it marinading the better it will be. i have had it up to two or three days in the fridge and injected the butt with the marinade a few times a day. If you start with a very low temperature in the oven and let it cook very slowly, everyonce in a while basting and injecting it with the marinade it will be so tender and tasty that the meats falls off the bone. Then after a few hours, you can set a higher temperature to give it a nice golden color. Yummy!!

5 5

Fabulous!!!!! I did mine in the crockpot. After the meat achieved 150 degrees, I took it out and let it rest. I then added two tablespoons cornstarch to the liquid and made a gravy. Wonderful.

5 5

Great recipe but I modified a little by using the pork should instead of the butt for a more tender meat.