Discover the irresistible flavors of Cuban cuisine with our mouthwatering Cuban Pork Marinade. This traditional blend of aromatic herbs, zesty citrus, and smoky spices will transport your taste buds to the vibrant streets of Havana. Elevate your pork dishes with this authentic marinade that guarantees tender, juicy meat bursting with bold Caribbean flavors.
Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork
Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork is a delicious and savory dish that is marinated overnight in a citrus garlic marinade. The marinade, made with bitter orange juice, lime juice, garlic, oregano, onion, and cumin, helps to tenderize the pork and infuse it with flavor. The pork shoulder is the best cut of meat to use for this recipe as it has enough fat to keep the meat moist and tender. It is recommended to use a pork shoulder with a little bit of fat cap on top for added flavor.
To make the Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork in a slow cooker, simply add the marinated pork to the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 6 hours. If you prefer a crispy exterior, you can transfer the cooked pork to a baking sheet and broil it in the oven until browned.
This flavorful Cuban mojo pork can be enjoyed on its own or used in sandwiches, burritos, salads, or quesadillas. It pairs well with sides such as black beans cooked with white rice, fried plantains (tostones), boiled cassava marinated in mojo sauce (yuca con mojo), bread, salads, fried yucca, corn on the cob, or potato salad. You can also make a delicious mojo sauce by cooking some of the pork’s drippings with the reserved marinade and pouring it over the finished pork.
Ingredients You’ll Need
This Cuban mojo marinated pork recipe requires the following ingredients:
- Pork shoulder or butt, boneless or bone-in, around 3-4 pounds
- For the marinade:
- 1/2 cup bitter orange juice (or a combination of orange and lime juice)
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 8 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
Note: You can adjust the amount of marinade ingredients based on your personal taste preferences.
To make this Cuban mojo marinated pork in a slow cooker, follow these steps:
- In a bowl, mix all the marinade ingredients together. Adjust the seasoning to your liking.
- Place the pork shoulder in a large plastic ziplock bag or a large bowl.
- Pour the marinade over the pork shoulder and seal or cover. Make sure all parts of the meat are covered with marinade.
- Refrigerate overnight to let it marinate.
- The next day, remove the pork from the refrigerator and allow it to come up to room temperature for about 1 hour.
- Add the marinated pork to the slow cooker. Cook on low heat for 8 hours or high heat for 6 hours.
- Once cooked, remove the Cuban mojo marinated pork from the slow cooker and transfer it to a baking sheet.
- If desired, place it in a preheated oven at 400°F to brown and crisp the exterior.
- Once browned, remove from the oven and allow it to rest for 15 minutes before serving.
You can use the cooked Cuban mojo marinated pork in various dishes such as sandwiches, burritos, salads, or quesadillas. Enjoy!
What Cut of Pork to Use
The best cut of pork to use for Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork is a pork shoulder or butt. This cut of meat is perfect for slow cooking because it has enough marbling to keep the meat moist and tender. Look for a pork shoulder that has a bit of fat on top, without the skin. The fat adds flavor and moisture to the meat as it cooks.
It’s important not to remove too much fat from the outside of the pork, as this will affect the flavor and moistness. A pork shoulder that weighs around 3-4 pounds is ideal for serving 2 people with leftovers. However, if you’re cooking for a larger crowd, you can use a shoulder up to 8 pounds, but keep in mind that the cooking time will increase with a larger piece of meat.
To ensure that the pork is cooked properly, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The pork should reach an internal temperature of 190°F and be fork-tender before it’s ready.
How to Make Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork
To make Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork, start by mixing all of the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. You can adjust the seasoning to your taste, adding extra salt if desired. Place the pork shoulder in a large plastic ziplock bag or a large bowl, and pour in the marinade. Move the bag or bowl around every few hours to ensure that all parts of the meat are covered. Refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to develop.
When you’re ready to cook, remove the pork from the refrigerator and let it come up to room temperature for about 1 hour. Preheat your oven to 275°F and position the rack in the lower-middle position.
If you have a Dutch oven, place the marinated pork shoulder in it with the lid on. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place the pork and marinade on it, loosely wrapping it with foil on top. Roast for 3 hours at 275°F. Then remove the lid or foil and continue cooking for another 2 hours at 325°F, or until the internal temperature reaches 190°F and is fork tender.
Once cooked, remove the pork from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before serving. You can enjoy it as is, or use it in sandwiches, burritos, salads, quesadillas, or any recipe that calls for pork.
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How To Cut Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork
Once the Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork is cooked and rested, it’s time to cut it into slices or shred it for serving. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to cut the pork:
1. Start by removing any visible fat or skin from the surface of the pork shoulder.
2. Place the pork shoulder on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to slice it against the grain. This will help ensure that each slice is tender and easy to chew.
3. If you prefer shredded pork, use two forks to pull apart the cooked meat. The pork should be so tender that it easily falls apart into juicy strands.
4. As you slice or shred the pork, transfer it to a serving platter or individual plates.
5. Serve the sliced or shredded Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork with your favorite sides and accompaniments, such as black beans, rice, plantains, or salad.
Enjoy your delicious and flavorful Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork!
Tips and Notes
– Make sure to marinate the pork overnight to allow the flavors to fully develop.
– Use a pork shoulder or butt for the best results, as they have enough marbling to keep the meat moist and tender.
– Keep the fat on the outside of the pork shoulder, as it adds flavor and moisture during cooking.
– Rotate the bag or bowl of marinating pork every few hours to ensure all parts of the meat are covered with marinade.
– Allow the pork to come to room temperature before cooking, as this will help it cook faster and more evenly.
– Use a meat thermometer to check if the pork is done. The internal temperature should reach 190°F for fork-tender meat.
– For a crispy exterior, remove the lid or foil during the last 2 hours of cooking and increase the oven temperature to 325°F.
– Save some of the marinade for sauce by cooking it with the pork drippings at low heat for a few minutes.
– This recipe can also be made in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 6 hours, then transfer to an oven at 400°F for browning if desired.
– Leftover Cuban mojo marinated pork can be used in sandwiches, burritos, salads, quesadillas, or any recipe that calls for pork.
What To Serve With Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork
Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork pairs well with a variety of sides and accompaniments. One popular option is to serve it with Cuban mojo sauce, which is made with oil, orange juice, lime juice, minced garlic, chopped onions, dried oregano, black pepper, cumin, cilantro (fresh herbs), and salt. This tangy and flavorful sauce complements the savory pork perfectly.
Another classic pairing is serving the Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork with black beans cooked with white rice. The combination of the tender pork and the hearty beans and rice creates a delicious and satisfying meal.
If you’re looking for more side dish options, you can try serving the pork with Tostones (Fried Plantains), Yuca con Mojo (boiled cassava marinated in mojo sauce), bread, salads, fried yucca, corn on the cob, or potato salad. These sides add different textures and flavors to enhance your meal.
Additionally, you can use some of the pork’s drippings to make a sauce. Simply take some of the marinade that was set aside earlier and cook it together with the pork’s drippings on low heat for a few minutes. This sauce can be poured over the finished pork to add extra flavor.
Overall, there are many delicious options for sides and accompaniments to serve with Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork. Whether you choose traditional Cuban dishes or mix in some other flavors and ingredients, these pairings will enhance your meal and create a memorable dining experience.
How To Store Leftover Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork
Once the Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork is cooked and you have leftovers, it’s important to store them properly to maintain freshness and flavor. Here are some tips on how to store leftover Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork:
1. Let it cool: Allow the pork to cool completely before storing it. This will prevent condensation from building up and making the meat soggy.
2. Divide into portions: If you have a large amount of leftover pork, divide it into smaller portions before storing. This will make it easier to reheat only what you need later on.
3. Store in airtight containers: Transfer the cooled pork into airtight containers or resealable plastic bags. Make sure to remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.
4. Refrigerate or freeze: If you plan on consuming the leftovers within 3-4 days, store them in the refrigerator. If you won’t be able to use them within that time frame, it’s best to freeze them for longer storage.
5. Label and date: To keep track of how long the leftovers have been stored, label each container or bag with the date it was stored.
6. Reheat properly: When ready to eat, thaw frozen pork in the refrigerator overnight if frozen, then reheat in a skillet or microwave until warmed through.
By following these storage tips, you can enjoy your leftover Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork for several days or even weeks after cooking!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I make the Cuban mojo marinated pork in a slow cooker?
A: Yes, you can make the Cuban mojo marinated pork in a slow cooker. After marinating the pork overnight, place it in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 6 hours. If you want the exterior to be crispy, transfer the cooked pork to a baking sheet and brown it in a preheated oven at 400°F.
Q: What sides and accompaniments pair well with Cuban mojo-marinated pork?
A: Cuban mojo-marinated pork pairs well with a variety of sides and accompaniments such as black beans cooked with white rice, Tostones (Fried Plantains), Yuca con Mojo (Boiled cassava marinated in mojo sauce), bread, salads, fried yucca, corn on the cob, or potato salad.
Q: Can I use the marinade to make a sauce for the Cuban mojo marinated pork?
A: Yes, you can set aside some of the marinade to make a sauce. After cooking the pork, take some of its drippings and cook them with the reserved marinade on low heat for a few minutes. Then pour this sauce over the finished pork.
Q: How long should I cook a bone-in 4 lb. pork shoulder at stated temperatures?
A: For a bone-in 4 lb. pork shoulder, follow the recipe’s cooking times of 3 hours covered at 275°F and an additional 2 hours uncovered at 325°F. However, it’s important to test the internal temperature using a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches at least 190°F and is fork tender.
Q: How can I prevent the pulled pork from becoming soggy when keeping it on a steam table?
A: To prevent the pulled pork from becoming soggy when keeping it on a steam table, try draining off as much fat as possible before placing it in the steamer. The fat and liquid in the pork can contribute to sogginess, so removing excess fat can help maintain its texture.
Q: Can I put the marinade in the Dutch oven with the pork?
A: Yes, you should put the marinade in the Dutch oven with the pork. The recipe instructs to place the pork and marinade in a Dutch oven roasting dish with the lid on. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, you can use a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil and loosely wrapped over the top.
What is Cuban mojo sauce made of?
Cuban mojo sauce, also known simply as “mojo,” is a flavorful sauce made with a combination of ingredients. It typically includes oil, orange juice, lime juice, minced garlic, chopped onions, dried oregano, black pepper, cumin, fresh cilantro (herbs), and salt. These ingredients come together to create a tangy and citrusy sauce with a hint of garlic and spices. Mojo sauce is commonly used as a marinade for meats like pork or chicken in Cuban cuisine. It adds bright flavors and helps to tenderize the meat while infusing it with delicious flavors. The sauce can also be used as a condiment or dipping sauce for various dishes. Overall, Cuban mojo sauce is a versatile and tasty addition to any meal.
What goes with Cuban mojo pork?
Cuban mojo pork pairs well with a variety of sides and accompaniments. One classic option is to serve it with Cuban mojo sauce, also known as “mojo.” This sauce is made with oil, orange juice, lime juice, minced garlic, chopped onions, dried oregano, black pepper, cumin, cilantro (fresh herbs), and salt. It adds a tangy and flavorful element to the dish.
Another traditional side dish is black beans cooked with white rice. The combination of beans and rice complements the savory flavors of the pork.
Tostones, or fried plantains, are another popular accompaniment to Cuban mojo pork. These crispy and slightly sweet plantain slices add a delicious contrast in texture and flavor.
Yuca con Mojo is another tasty option. It consists of boiled cassava marinated in mojo sauce. The citrusy marinade enhances the natural flavors of the yuca.
Bread is another simple yet satisfying option to serve alongside Cuban mojo pork. You can use it to make sandwiches or simply enjoy it on its own.
Other side dishes that pair well include salads (such as crunchy broccoli salad or pear & gorgonzola salad), fried yucca, corn on the cob, or potato salad.
If you want to create a complete meal, consider adding roasted vegetables like asparagus or green beans, or crispy roast potatoes as a side dish.
Overall, there are many options for sides and accompaniments that will complement the flavors of Cuban mojo pork and create a delicious and satisfying meal.
Can I make a sauce from the marinade?
Yes, you can make a sauce from the marinade. After cooking the pork, take some of the pork’s drippings and cook them with the mojo marinade that was previously set aside. Cook them together on low heat for a few minutes, then pour it over the finished pork. This will add even more flavor to your dish.
Can I make the Cuban mojo marinated pork in a slow cooker?
Yes, you can definitely make the Cuban mojo marinated pork in a slow cooker. After marinating the pork shoulder overnight in the delicious citrus garlic marinade, you can transfer it to a slow cooker and cook it on low for 8 hours or on high for 6 hours. This slow cooking method will result in incredibly tender and flavorful meat. If you prefer a crispy exterior, you can then transfer the cooked pork to a baking sheet and brown it in a preheated oven at 400°F for some time.
Making this recipe in a slow cooker is convenient as it allows you to set it and forget it, while still achieving amazing results. The long cooking time helps to break down the fibers in the meat, resulting in tender and moist pork that is infused with the flavors of the marinade. Whether you want to enjoy the Cuban mojo pork as is or use it in sandwiches, burritos, salads, or quesadillas, using a slow cooker makes it easy to prepare this delicious dish.
What can I do with leftovers?
If you have leftovers from the Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork, there are several delicious options for using them. One idea is to make Cuban sandwiches, also known as Cubanos. Layer the leftover pork with sliced ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard on a baguette or Cuban bread. Press the sandwich in a panini press or grill it until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted.
Another option is to use the leftover pork in tacos or burritos. Just heat up some tortillas and top them with the shredded pork, along with your favorite toppings like salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.
You could also use the leftover pork to make a flavorful salad. Toss it with mixed greens, diced tomatoes, avocado slices, and a citrus vinaigrette for a refreshing and satisfying meal.
If you’re feeling creative, you can even incorporate the leftover pork into quesadillas or omelettes for a tasty twist on these classic dishes.
No matter how you choose to use your leftovers, the Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork will add incredible flavor to any dish. Enjoy!
In conclusion, the Cuban pork marinade is a flavorful and versatile option for enhancing the taste of pork dishes. With its blend of citrus, garlic, and spices, it provides a tangy and aromatic profile that complements various cooking methods. Whether grilling, roasting, or slow-cooking, this marinade adds an authentic touch to your meals, transporting your taste buds to the vibrant streets of Cuba. Elevate your pork recipes with this irresistible marinade and savor the irresistible flavors it brings to every bite.
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