This is definitely something you need to think ahead about, as it will need to be marinated overnight. When I do something this labor-intensive, I either make enough for leftovers or use it for entertaining.
Heading to a Fourth of July event this weekend? This is a nice alternative to your usual go-to burgers and hot dogs. Let everyone else bring those. You show up with this, you'll be a rockstar. You just need a fresh salsa and some tortillas you can char on the grill for serving.
Cuban Pork with Cucumber Salsa
Serves: 1-3 Time: Overnight, plus 4 hours Difficulty: Only a bit intimidating
- 1/2 lb. pork shoulder
- 1 papaya (you can easily swap in another tropical fruit like a mango)
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 1/2 orange, juiced
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 T. Mexican oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2-1 c. chicken stock
- 1 cucumber (seeded if not a kirby or English), diced
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- handful of cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 orange, zested
- salt, pepper, blended oil
- tortillas, for serving
Remove the flesh of the papaya. Puree the papaya, garlic, and oregano. Drizzle in 1/2 cup of oil and the juice of 1 orange and the lime. Season with salt and pepper and buzz again. Put the pork in a container and add the bay leaf. Pour the marinade over the pork and refrigerate overnight.
The day of, remove the pork and let it come to room temperature. Discard the bay leaf.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Put the pork in a baking dish, and the first 1/2 c. of stock, cover, and roast for 3-4 hours. Check a few times and add more liquid as needed. The pork should be falling apart and tender.
While the pork cooks, mix together the cucumber, jalapeño, onion, cilantro, orange zest, and last 1/2 of an orange juiced. Season with salt and pepper.
Shred the pork. Spoon some of the sauce over the top. Serve with the salsa and tortillas.