Prep 25 hrs
Cook 6 hrs
Letting the cooked roast rest for a full hour will yield noticeably more tender meat. This roast has a crispy skin that should be served along with the meat. Top the meat with Mojo Sauce (see related recipe). Traditional accompaniments include black beans, rice, and fried plantains. Cook's Illustrated Note: I have made this about 4 times and I have only used the shoulder once and it was amazing! I have never eaten cracklin before but it was so good on this. The other times I made it with pork loin and I learned to halve the recipe due to them being half the weight. IT was pretty intense at full strength esp. with the brine. My grandfather was Cuban and I'm sure he never made it this way, but now I will never make it any other way!
Pork and Brine
- 1 (7 -8 lb) pork shoulder, bone-in skin-on
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 cups table salt
- 2 medium head garlic, unpeeled cloves separated and crushed
- 4 cups orange juice
- 12 medium garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon table salt
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- TO BRINE THE PORK: With sharp paring knife, cut 1-inch-deep slits (about 1 inch long) all over roast, spaced about 2 inches apart. Dissolve sugar and salt in 6 quarts cold water in stockpot or large bucket. Stir in garlic and orange juice. Submerge pork in brine and refrigerate 18 to 24 hours.
- TO APPLY THE GARLIC-CITRUS PASTE: Process garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper in food processor until they reach consistency of coarse paste, about ten 1-second pulses. With machine running, add orange juice, vinegar, and oil through feed tube and process until mixture forms smooth, wet paste, about 20 seconds. Remove pork from brine and rinse under cool running water; pat dry with paper towels. Rub paste all over pork and into slits. Refrigerate pork while oven is preheating to 325 degrees with rack in lower-middle position.
- TO ROAST THE PORK: Place pork with skin side down on wire rack set over rimmed baking sheet or in roasting pan with rack. Cook, uncovered, 3 hours. Flip roast skin side up and continue to cook until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 190 degrees, about 3 hours more, lightly tenting roast with foil if skin begins to get too dark.
- Transfer roast to cutting board and let rest 1 hour. To carve, first remove skin in one large piece. Scrape off and discard top layer of fat, then cut pork away from bone in 3 or 4 large pieces. Slice each piece against grain into 1/4-inch slices. To serve skin, scrape excess fat from underside and cut into strips. Drizzle Mojo Sauce (see related recipe) over pork just before serving.
I made this last year on my BBQ and smelled the entire neighborhood up! I KNOW they were jealous! I am doing it in the oven as the directions state this time...I have no doubt it will be anything less than fantastic, as before!!!
My picture doesn't do this justice. Even my computer has made a pig of itself. No pun intended. Made for Alphabet Soup Tag.
This was fantastic! It was easy to prepare and the meat came out delicious, tender, and moist. The pork can be enjoyed as is, or with a sauce like mojo or BBQ, as in pulled pork. My only "criticism" is that this recipe made far more marinade than was needed. I froze the extra and will use it to marinate a duck. The garlic citrus paste was just the right amount to completely cover the pork. Thanks for posting.