Cuban Roast Pork
I have a confession to make, I'm kind of obsessed with the Food Network. And when I say 'kind of', I mean really. My favorite show is Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives with Guy Fieri. I was watching a repeat a few nights ago where he was in Miami and went to a little diner that supposedly had the best Cuban sandwich in the city. Now, I love Cuban sandwiches, so this episode in particular peaked my interest. They're definitely one of the things I've missed most since becoming Paleo and my TV had me drooling over them. I've tried substituting some unfriendly ingredients to make a Paleo Cuban sandwich, but nothing comes out as good as the real deal. I've tried the Cuban Burgers from Primal Cravings––they're good, but the plantain buns took some effort to make and weren't really worth it in my opinion. While all of the flavors of the sandwich (minus the Cuban bread) were there in the burger, I really was missing the roast pork. I even tried making a Cuban sandwich salad, with all of the ingredients mixed into a few cups of lettuce and topped with a yellow mustard vinaigrette––but it just wasn't right. I decided that if I couldn't make the sandwich, I at least wanted some delicious roast pork. Then, I saw this episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, where I found out that the flavors common in Cuban cuisine primarily come from orange juice, garlic, and oregano. I threw this marinade together, cooked the pork shoulder sitting in the marinade, and man, was it freakin' delicious! This is definitely going to be a meal we frequent at my house. Despite the long cook time, this is actually incredibly easy to put together. This recipe will have to hold me over until the next time I'm in Miami––when I will get that Cuban sandwich from the show, because that's gonna happen. I don't care what it does to me, I know I'll be sick, but it will be so worth it.
Cuban Roast Pork
Prep Time: 6 hr, 10 min 6 hr, inactive Cook Time: ~6 hr *45 min/lb
Total Time: ~12 hr, 10 min 12 hr, inactive Serves: 8-10
1 6-8lb pork shoulder (Boston butt)
4 cups orange juice (~8 valencia oranges, juiced)
1 cup lime juice (~8-10 limes, juiced)
10-12 cloves of garlic, finely minced
¼ cup fresh oregano, chopped
2-3 bay leaves
1 tbsp sea salt
2 tsp black pepper
Mix orange juice, lime juice, and bay leaves together in a roasting pan or oven safe pot. Rub about half of the minced garlic and chopped oregano across the fat side of your pork shoulder, sprinkle the rest into your marinade along with the sea salt and black pepper. Place the shoulder, fat side up, into the roasting pan, refrigerate overnight (at least 6 hours), covered.
An hour before you want to cook the shoulder, remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Place your roasting pan or pot with pork and marinade into the oven and cook for 45 minutes per pound (if it’s not an even amount of hours, I usually round up to the next hour––the longer this cooks, the more tender it will be), and make sure the internal temperature reaches at least 195 degrees.
Remove from the oven and using two forks, pull the pork apart and place into a bowl or serving dish. Ladle some of the leftover marinade onto the pulled pork (you can do this straight from the pan, or pour into a saucepan and reduce over high heat for 10-15 minutes––or until it reaches your desired consistency). Serve hot, and enjoy!