Recipe adapted from "Cooks Illustrated"
Serves 8 - 10
1 bone-in, skin-on pork picnic shoulder (7 - 9 lbs.)
3 cups sugar
1 cup non-iodized table salt
1 1/4 cups kosher salt
6 quarts water
Cloves from 2 medium garlic heads, crushed and peeled
1 Tbsp. cumin seeds
3 1/2 cups orange juice
Zest and juice of 2 limes
The day before
Brine the pork
With a sharp knife make 1" deep slits all over roast spacing about 2" between. In a 14 quart stockpot or cooler dissolve the sugar and the salt in the water. Add the garlic cloves, cumin seeds, juices and zest. Stir to combine. Place roast into brine to submerge completely. A small plate may be used to help keep the roast submerged. Cover and place into refrigerator. Refrigerate for 18 - 24 hours.
The day of
Preheat oven to 325º F with rack placed in lower third of oven.
Make the paste
12 medium garlic cloves, peeled
2 Tbsp. ground cumin
2 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Place garlic, cumin, oregano, salt and black pepper into the bowl of a food processor. Process until garlic is coarsely chopped. With motor running add orange juice, lime juice and olive oil until a smooth, wet paste is formed.
Remove roast from brine and rinse under cold running water. Pat it dry with paper towels. Rub paste all over outside of roast and into slits. Place roast skin side down on a rack set inside of a roasting pan lined with foil.
Roast uncovered for 3 hours. Flip and continue roasting skin side up until roast reaches an internal temperature of 190º, about 3 hours more, tenting roast with foil if skin begins to get too dark.
When done, remove roast from oven and allow it to rest for 1 hour. Remove skin and excess fat. Cut off large pieces or pork and shred with forks.
Serve with Mojo Sauce. Recipe follows.
4 medium garlic cloves, peeled and pressed
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/2 cup orange juice (from 2 oranges)
Zest of 1 orange
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
Place garlic on a cutting board and sprinkle with the kosher salt. Using the flat side of a chef's knife, drag the garlic and salt back and forth across the cutting board until the garlic is ground into a smooth paste.
Heat olive oil in a small skillet until shimmering. Add the garlic paste and cumin and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove pan from heat and whisk in remaining ingredients. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature.
Sauce can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Bring back to room temperature before serving.
Recipe Courtesy: Cathy Speronis
Cuban Roasted Pork
Recipe adapted from "Cooks Illustrated"
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