Mojo Marinated Cuban Pork

I am so excited about this. I can’t wait to share it with you. I have been doing a lot of reading lately about different flavour combinations and flavour influences from different countries. I love trying cuisines from all over the world but South American food is one of my all-time favourites.

I kept seeing a recurrence of ‘Mojo sauce’ when I was looking at Cuban recipes and I decided it was time to give it a try. I wanted to use it as a marinade and because it’s quite a zesty flavour I went for pork because I think pork can be quite boring without something to lift it.

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Oh. My. God. That is all I can say about the outcome of this dish. When the pork came out of the oven to rest, everyone in the house appeared in the kitchen, drawn in by the smell, and we all stood staring at the pork, drooling.

This recipe was such a success, I think my family should have paid me for bringing it into our lives. I cooked this on Saturday and have been fantasising about it ever since. And, to make it even more appealing, it was so easy to make!

Mojo marinade – there are loads of recipes out there for this and they’re all a bit different. I read a few and then adapted my own recipe from my own tastes and what I had in the cupboards, but feel free to follow your taste buds and have a play with it!

What you need –

A good sized bunch of fresh coriander

A whole head of garlic

A handful of mint leaves

Half a cup of olive oil

The juice of a one big orange

1 tsp dried mixed herbs

The juice of two limes

Salt and pepper

1 de-boned pork shoulder.

I used pork shoulder for this but I’m planning on experimenting with other cuts of meat too.

Ok, this is how easy it is – shove all the ingredients for the marinade into a blender and whiz it up. If you don’t have a blender it’s going to be a bit more time consuming but still doable. Just chop everything nice and fine so all the flavours mingle and mix thoroughly.

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Now, if your pork has skin or excess fat on the outside, strip as much of that off as possible. One of the best things about this pork is the amazing crust you get and you don’t want to lose that to the fat.

Once that’s done put the pork either in a deep bowl or a zip lock bag and pour over/in the marinade so the pork is covered. Put it in the fridge. I left mine for about three hours but I reckon the longer it sits the better the flavour will be, so next time I’m going to do it overnight. Three hours is fine though if you’re cooking the same day.

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After the three hours, preheat the oven to 200c. I made the rookie mistake of cooking the pork on a baking tray and the excess marinade is still, to this day, baked onto the tray (which I am soaking constantly in the sink). So I would recommend lining a baking tray with kitchen foil and then putting the pork on a wire rack over the tray. I spooned over more of the marinade – as much as I could get on the meat before it just started pouring off the sides, added generous helping of salt and pepper, then into the oven it went! I sadly discarded the remaining marinade.

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I let it have 15 minutes on this high temperature to start browning the meat, then I turned it down to 180c and gave it another 1 and 1/2 hours. This was perfect for my pork, but if you’ve bought a MASSIVE piece then it might need longer. Just make sure that when you’ve done, a meat thermometer reads at least 71c/160f. I then left it to rest, covered in kitchen foil for half an hour…try to resist, if you can!

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And there you go, Bob’s your Uncle! I served mine up with some Chimichurra (my Mums new favourite condiment) spicy sweet potato wedges, a Mexican style slaw and some of my go to cavolo nero kale sautéed in garlic butter. It was a roaring success. The only trouble is, I now don’t want to eat anything else…

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