Cuban Roast Pork with Chicharrones
Enjoy this authentic 5 hours, slow roasted mouthwatering pork dish. I usually
marinate the pork overnight in the refrigerator, place it in the oven at 9:00 am
the following morning, then around 2:00 pm it’s succulent, moist and ready for
Sunday dinner. I can assure you that it’s worth the wait! Serve with
scrumptious Moros (Cuban Rice & Black Beans) and plantains.
5 lbs (2.2 kg) pork leg or shoulder
1 Tbsp (15 mL) white vinegar
Juice of 2 oranges
Juice of 2 lemons
Juice of 2 limes
2 Tbsp (30 mL) minced garlic
1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano leaves
¼ tsp (1 mL) ground cumin
2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
1/4 cup (60 mL) Raquel’s Seasoning Salt (see recipe)
1/3 cup (80 mL) fine sea salt
2 tsp (10 mL) baking soda
2 1/2 lbs (1.1 kg) pork skins or pork belly
3 limes, cut into wedges for garnishing
1. Preheat oven to 275˚F (135˚C). Set aside a 13- x 9-inch (33 x 23 cm) deep
roasting pan or a 5-quart (5 L) Dutch oven.
2. Rinse pork (leg or shoulder) in a large bowl with cold water and 1 Tbsp (15 mL)
white vinegar. Pat dry with paper towels. In a medium bowl, add the citrus juices,
garlic, oregano leaves, cumin, and whisk in the olive oil.
3. Season generously on all sides of the meat with the seasoned salt. Cover the pan with aluminum paper (or the Dutch oven with a lid), and transfer to the oven and roast for 5 hours,
basting with the pan juices halfway through cooking.
4. To prepare the crackling, in a small bowl, mix together sea salt and baking soda. Dry pork skins with paper towels and place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels.
5. Rub skins generously with salt and baking soda mixture. Transfer to the bottom shelf in the refrigerator for about 2 hours or overnight.
6. Remove skins from the refrigerator and dust off salt mixture with paper towels. Cut pork
skins into 1-inch (2.5 cm) segments.
7. In a wide-bottom 7-quart (7 L) pot over high heat, add pork skins with just enough water to cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to simmer, turning pork skins over on opposite sides every 15 minutes.
for about 2 hours or until water evaporates and lard forms. You may continue to fry the pork segments in this lard (only if using a splatter-proof screen for safety) or fry segments in a portable deep fryer with lid to cover for about 3 minutes until golden and crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and season with the seasoned salt (optional), set aside.
8. After 5 hours, turn the oven to broil on high for 2-3 minutes to caramelize the roast pork’s skin. To serve, slice tender pork leg and transfer to a platter. Spoon pan juices over top and garnish with lime wedges and sautéed onions with bell peppers. Place cracklings on the side of the pork and enjoy.
TIP: It’s imperative that you place a frying screen over the pan as pork fat
splatters and could cause a severe burn. You may also fry the pork segments
in the basket of a deep fryer, about 3 minutes until crispy and golden.