One of the things I discovered during my time in college was that there are hundreds of ways to cook anything, and every region and culture has their own methods and flavor profiles that they tend to favor. Where my family tended toward Eastern European and Mediterranean flavors due to our heritage I grew up with strong Tex-Mex flavors making frequent appearances while with friends like the Espinosas, and Southern cooking thanks to the amount of time my Father spent in the Southern U.S. during his early adult years.
While in Florida at Palm Beach Atlantic University I discovered a set of flavors from the Caribbean that was a revelation to me, yet blended several flavors and techniques together to make for some amazing new additions to my diet in those college days. One of my favorites was a small Cuban restaurant down the street from my apartment complex, where I would go at least once a week for Pork and Rice.
Cuban Style Pork Roast blends a lot of different flavors, from a zest brought into the mix from the Caribbean tendency towards adding oregano to almost every recipe to the more traditionally South American methods of citrus marinades it is a unique combination that won't normally appeal when hearing it described but will quickly become a family favorite in your home as it has in ours. There are a lot of variations in cooking this dish, and you can play around with your spice ratios a bit after you've made it a couple of times to make it what you want it to be (sweeter, spicier etc.) but try this recipe as written a couple of times. There is never anything left after feeding my family of four with this recipe, but your portion sizes may vary.
Cuban-Style Roast Pork
YIELD: 4 Servings
ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 4 hours
- 2 pounds boneless, center-cut pork loin roast
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced to a paste
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon Tonguespank Citrus Rum (optional)
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- 1 large onion, minced
- Make the marinade: heat a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with EVOO. Add garlic, salt, oregano, orange juice, lime juice and onion, and whisk until heated through.
- Pierce pork roast as many times as you can with a sharp knife or fork. Pour marinade mixture (reserving a little for roasting) over pork, cover and let sit in refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
- Using a suitable roasting pan, sprinkle remaining marinade over pork, then sprinkle with Citrus Rum mixture (if used) and cook uncovered at 325°F. Roast until completely cooked (140-145°F internal temperature), about 40 minutes, basting occasionally.
- Remove pan juices and solids to sauce pan. Bring pan juices to a boil and simmer until the juice is reduced by half. Add to 3 cups cooked white rice and combine well.
- To serve, plate rice mixture and top with 3-4 slices of roast pork.
There you have it, Cuban-Style Roast Pork Fat Boy Style. Give it a try and make sure to let us know what your family thinks.