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Traditional Cuban Roast Pork served at festive occasions


Yield 6-8
Preparation time 45 mins + overnight
Cooking time 3-4 hours
Main Ingredient Pork


  • 2-3 kgs pork shoulder skin on
  • 2 cups sour orange* or fresh lime or lemon juice
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp salt + 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 20 cloves whole fresh garlic peeled
  • Cuban Mojo sauce (See recipe instructions)
  • 2 large onions thinly sliced 
  • 1/2 cup of the roast pork pan drippings

* Many Latin grocery stores sell bottles of "naranja agria" bitter orange juice, you can also find it for sale online.


  • Using a sharp knife, score pork skin at 1cm intervals. Rub the salt well into the skin and over the pork. 
  • After salting put the pork to a side. In a blender add the lime/lemon or sour orange juice, garlic cloves, and the seasonings bay leaf, cumin powder, oregano, pepper, 1 teaspoon salt. Blend on high until all is liquefied. This is your Cuban Mojo. Pour one cup of the Mojo in a jar cover and reserve for later.
  • Pour the rest of the sauce all over the pork roast rubbing the mojo sauce deep into the pork meat in the slits or holes
  •  When done sprinkle a little more oregano, cumin, black pepper over the entire roast. Cover with aluminum foil; and refrigerate until the next day for roasting.
  • Next day remove pork from the refrigerator let stand  for at least an hour then put into a preheated 325 F oven. Depending on in the size roast it should take about 3 to 4 hours.
  •  Pour a half cup of the reserved mojo and baste every hour with some of the Mojo. Roast is done when the juices run clear and the meat is tender. If the roast starts to get to brown on top tent it looseley with the foil. Do not crimp sides.
  • When done remove roast from the oven take out of the pan put into another pan. Let roast rest for 10-15 minutes.
  • In the roasting pan there should be lots of pan drippings. Pour them into a frying pan over medium heat and add the onions and fry them in the drippings. Next take half cup of the reserved Mojo from the refrigerator and pour into the onions sauteing everything for about five minutes.
  • After about 10 minutes slice all of your roast and pour the Mojo with onions all over the meat mixing it well into all of the pork meat. 
  • Serve with Cuban black beans and white rice