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A rub and a wrap yield an easier version of a Cuban classic
Milk Street Bowtie Cuban-Style Pork Shoulder with Mojo Sauce

Cuban-Style Pork Shoulder with Mojo Sauce

12½ hours 40 minutes active

Free

To replicate the traditional flavor of sour Seville oranges in Cuban mojo sauce, we used a combination of juices and zest from limes and oranges. A relatively hot oven cooked the pork faster, and enclosing it completely in a packet of foil and parchment kept the meat moist, eliminating the need to baste (and to wash the roasting pan). We much preferred the flavor of the pork after seasoning for at least 8 hours. If pressed for time, 1 hour will suffice. A roll of 18-inch-wide heavy-duty foil was essential for sealing the pork, and 15-inch-wide kitchen parchment was ideal. Be careful when forming the packet. Tears or openings will lead the meat to dry out.

3 tablespoons kosher salt
1  tablespoon sweet paprika, preferably smoked
4-5 -pound bone-in pork butt, fat cap trimmed to ¼ to ½ inch
1 teaspoon grated orange zest, plus ⅔ cup orange juice (2 to 3 oranges)
1 teaspoon grated lime zest, plus ⅓ cup lime juice (2 to 3 limes)
⅓ cup fresh oregano leaves 
8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
Lime wedges, to serve
Ingredients
  • 3

    tablespoons kosher salt

  • 1

     tablespoon sweet paprika, preferably smoked

  • 4-5

    -pound bone-in pork butt, fat cap trimmed to ¼ to ½ inch

  • 1

    teaspoon grated orange zest, plus ⅔ cup orange juice (2 to 3 oranges)

  • 1

    teaspoon grated lime zest, plus ⅓ cup lime juice (2 to 3 limes)

  • cup fresh oregano leaves 

  • 8

    garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

  • 2

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1

    tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1

    teaspoon ground black pepper

  • ½

    cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

  • Lime wedges, to serve

Directions
  1. 01
    In a small bowl, mix together the salt and paprika. Using a paring knife and a twisting motion, make twelve 1-inch-deep cuts over the pork. Rub the pork all over with the salt mixture, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate 8 to 24 hours.
    See Demo
  2. 02
    Heat the oven to 400ºF with a rack in the lower-middle position. In a liquid measuring cup, combine both juices. In a food processor, combine both zests, the oregano, garlic, oil, cumin and pepper. Process until the garlic is finely chopped, about 1 minute. Add ¼ cup of the juice and process until combined, about 10 seconds.
    See Demo
  3. 03
    Using 18-inch-wide heavy-duty foil, make a foil sling in a large roasting pan. Leaving a generous amount of overhang on either side, gently press 1 sheet of foil into the pan lengthwise. Press a second sheet over that crosswise, again leaving ample overhang. Using kitchen parchment, repeat this process, setting the sheets over the foil. Set a wire roasting rack over the parchment.
    See Demo
  4. 04
    Unwrap the pork and rub all over with the herb-garlic paste. Place fat side up on the rack in the prepared pan. Pour ¼ cup of the juice into the bottom of the pan. Loosely fold the excess parchment around the pork, then fold the excess foil up over the pork. Crimp the foil together to create a loose but sealed packet. Roast until the meat is tender and registers 190ºF, about 3½ hours.
    See Demo
  5. 05
    Transfer the pork to a carving board, tent loosely with foil and let rest for 30 minutes. Pour the accumulated juices from the pan into a medium saucepan over medium heat, then add the remaining ½ cup citrus juice. When hot, remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro; cover and keep warm.
    See Demo
  6. 06
    Using tongs and a knife or carving fork, cut and shred the meat into chunks, discarding the bone and any fat. Transfer to a bowl and toss with ¼ to ½ cup of the sauce. Serve with the remaining sauce and lime wedges.
    See Demo
Tip: Don’t let the pork or its juices come into contact with the foil during cooking; it could cause a metallic taste and discolor the jus. Make sure the parchment fully lines the bottom of the pan and covers the pork on top.
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Cuban-Style Pork Shoulder with Mojo Sauce

Get Ready to Cook

6

Servings

12½ hours

40 minutes active

Tip

Don’t let the pork or its juices come into contact with the foil during cooking; it could cause a metallic taste and discolor the jus. Make sure the parchment fully lines the bottom of the pan and covers the pork on top.

Ingredients
  • 3

    tablespoons kosher salt

  • 1

     tablespoon sweet paprika, preferably smoked

  • 4-5

    -pound bone-in pork butt, fat cap trimmed to ¼ to ½ inch

  • 1

    teaspoon grated orange zest, plus ⅔ cup orange juice (2 to 3 oranges)

  • 1

    teaspoon grated lime zest, plus ⅓ cup lime juice (2 to 3 limes)

  • cup fresh oregano leaves 

  • 8

    garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

  • 2

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1

    tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1

    teaspoon ground black pepper

  • ½

    cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

  • Lime wedges, to serve

Step 1 of 6

Prepare the rub and coat the pork

3
tablespoons kosher salt
1
tablespoon sweet paprika, preferably smoked
4-5
-pound bone-in pork butt, fat cap trimmed to ¼ to ½ inch

In a small bowl, mix together the salt and paprika. Using a paring knife and a twisting motion, make twelve 1-inch-deep cuts over the pork. Rub the pork all over with the salt mixture, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate 8 to 24 hours.

Step 2 of 6

Prepare and process the herb-garlic paste

1
teaspoon grated orange zest, plus ⅔ cup orange juice (2 to 3 oranges)
1
teaspoon grated lime zest, plus ⅓ cup lime juice (2 to 3 limes)
cup fresh oregano leaves
8
garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1
tablespoon ground cumin
1
teaspoon ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 400ºF with a rack in the lower-middle position. In a liquid measuring cup, combine both juices. In a food processor, combine both zests, the oregano, garlic, oil, cumin and pepper.


Process until the garlic is finely chopped, about 1 minute. Add ¼ cup of the juice and process until combined, about 10 seconds.

Step 3 of 6

Make the foil sling

Using 18-inch-wide heavy-duty foil, make a foil sling in a large roasting pan. Leaving a generous amount of overhang on either side, gently press 1 sheet of foil into the pan lengthwise. Press a second sheet over that crosswise, again leaving ample overhang. Using kitchen parchment, repeat this process, setting the sheets over the foil. Set a wire roasting rack over the parchment.

Step 4 of 6

Rub the pork, seal, and roast

Unwrap the pork and rub all over with the herb-garlic paste. Place fat side up on the rack in the prepared pan. Pour ¼ cup of the juice into the bottom of the pan. Loosely fold the excess parchment around the pork, then fold the excess foil up over the pork. Crimp the foil together to create a loose but sealed packet.


Roast until the meat is tender and registers 190ºF, about 3½ hours.

Step 5 of 6

Transfer the pork and cook the sauce

½
cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Transfer the pork to a carving board, tent loosely with foil and let rest for 30 minutes. Pour the accumulated juices from the pan into a medium saucepan over medium heat, then add the remaining ½ cup citrus juice.


When hot, remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro; cover and keep warm.

Step 6 of 6

Carve, toss, and serve

Lime wedges, to serve

Using tongs and a knife or carving fork, cut and shred the meat into chunks, discarding the bone and any fat. Transfer to a bowl and toss with ¼ to ½ cup of the sauce. Serve with the remaining sauce and lime wedges.

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