Pork Mojo: Cuban-Style Sour Orange Pork Roast

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March 6, 2016

What I love about this pork roast recipe is it 1) is so easy it's silly, 2) is super inexpensive, and 3) requires just three simple ingredients. The secret main ingredient is found in a bottle and it's called sour orange juice (or sometimes bitter orange juice); in Spanish it's called Naranja Agria. Look for the Goya brand in the ethnic section of your supermarket (many carry it) or buy it on Amazon (see picture below). Sour orange juice is the base for Cuban mojo (pronounced mo-ho), a sauce that is made up of garlic, olive oil and sour orange juice.

We cooked our pork sous vide, but if you don't have a sous vide cooking device (here's the one we use), you can roast it for about 3 hours, just marinate the meat first overnight (I give instructions for both methods below). One of the many benefits of cooking sous vide is the ability to tenderize tough meats without drying them out. Since most of these tougher types of meat tend to be inexpensive, it’s a cost-effective way of eating. We cooked our Cuban-style pork shoulder for 36 hours at 149ºF. The result was cut-with-a-fork moist and tender meat with a beautiful citrusy flavor. We oven roasted cherry tomatoes and placed them on top just before serving. As a side, we served black beans and rice, also known as Moros y Christianos (Moors and Christians).

Cuban-Style Sour Orange Pork Roast
Serves 8-10

4 pound boneless pork shoulder
Salt and pepper
1 cup (just over half of a bottle) Goya Sour Orange Sauce (Naranja Agria)  
8 gloves garlic, minced
A good glug of olive oil
1 pound cherry tomatoes (optional), oven grilled

Sous Vide Method:

Season the pork on all sides with salt and pepper.

Place pork shoulder in a large ziplock bag, fill with ingredients, and zip close, removing as much air from the bag as possible.

Place in a water bath heated to 149ºF and let cook for 36 hours.

To plate the pork, either slice or pull apart the pork into large chunks with a fork. Transfer to a large platter and top with the grilled tomatoes. If desired, drizzle a bit of the marinade over the top and serve.

Conventional Oven Method:

Season the pork on all sides with salt and pepper.

Place pork shoulder in a large ziplock bag, fill with ingredients, and zip close. Place in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 8 hours.

Remove pork from the bag, reserving the marinade, and place on a rack in a roasting pan; set aside and bring to room temperature.

Heat oven to 325ºF.
 
Cover roast with foil and cook for 2 1/2 hours. Remove foil and continue cooking for another 30 minutes to allow it to brown.

Remove pork from oven and the pan and set aside to rest.  

Pour about 3 tablespoons of the roasting pan drippings into a small saucepan. Add the reserved marinade and heat over medium-high. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for about 1 minute, then set aside.

To plate the pork, either slice or pull apart the pork into large chunks with a fork. Transfer to a large platter and top with the grilled tomatoes. Pour the marinade over the top and serve. 

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