Roast Pork Shoulder Cubano

If you are like me, I get most of my meat from the large grocery chain in the area, but then find excuses to frequent our local butchers. There is something about our local butchers I love – they know so much about meat and seem to always have what you are looking for. Not to mention it is always fresh.

This was one of the rare times they did not have the meat I was looking for. This recipe calls for bone-in fresh pork arm picnic shoulder with skin. And, I wasn’t the only person looking for the impossible that day – apparently someone had called earlier with the same request!

So, in exchange for the perfect cut of meat, my butcher gave me something he said would hold up to the long cooking times. It was a leaner meat, but I suggest you stick to a fattier cut so it holds the moisture better. Regardless, this recipe, with some dirty rice and beans, was a winner! This one was from the Gourmet cookbook.

One more thing to note, if you half or quarter the recipe like I did, you might want to keep the same numbers on your liquid ingredients so it doesn’t burn on the bottom of your dutch oven, or babysit the pork a bit more than usual if you have to pull it out in advance of the full cooking time.

Enjoy!

ROAST PORK SHOULDER CUBANO
Serves 8

1 cup fresh lime juice (from about 6 limes)
8 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 (8 pound) bone-in fresh pork arm picnic shoulder with skin (if you can find it, or get something your butcher tells you is similar)
3 cups water
6 tablespoons distilled white or cider vinegar

Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Stir together 3 tablespoons lime juice, garlic, 2.5 tablespoons salt, oregano and cumin in a small bowl. Pat pork dry. With a small sharp knife, make 1-inch long by 3/4-inch deep incisions 3 inches apart all over the pork. Push about 1/2 teaspoon garlic mixture into each incision and rub remainder on meaty ends not covered by skin.

Transfer pork, skin side up, to a nonreactive roasting pan and pour remaining lime juice around it. Roast, uncovered, until most of juice has evaporated and brown bits are beginning to form on bottom of pan, about 30 minutes.

Stir together water and vinegar in a bowl and pour around pork. Cover pan tightly with foil or lid and roast for 1 hour.

Using a small ladle or baster, baste meat only (not skin) with pan juices. Cover and roast for 1 hour more.

With a sharp knife, gently loosen skin from meat without cutting through the skin and leaving fat layer attached to skin and, using a spoon or baster, baste meat under skin with pan juices (if your cut of meat has skin). Roast pork, uncovered, basting meat, not skin, every 20 minutes until skin is crisp, about 1.5 hours more (about 4 hours total roasting time). Transfer pork to a cutting board and let stand, loosely covered with foil, for 20 minutes. Skim fat from pan juices.

Cut pork into 1/4-inch thick slices and serve with skin and pan juices.

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