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Cuban-Style Pork Shoulder with Mojo Sauce

6 Servings

4½ hours plus marinating

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To replicate the flavor of sour Seville oranges in traditional Cuban mojo sauce, we combine the juices and zest from regular oranges and limes. A 400°F oven cooks the pork in under 4 hours, and enclosing it completely in a packet of foil and kitchen parchment keeps the meat moist, eliminating the need to baste. (The parchment-lined packet also makes cleanup a breeze.) Before cooking, we season the pork with a mixture of salt and smoked paprika; the latter is unconventional in Cuban mojo, but the paprika’s earthy, smoky notes are a nice complement to the citrus and garlic. We prefer the flavor of the pork after seasoning for at least eight hours, but if you’re pressed for time, one hour will suffice. A roll of 18-inch-wide heavy-duty foil is essential for sealing in the pork, and 15-inch-wide kitchen parchment is ideal. Be careful when forming the packet. Tears or openings may cause the meat to dry out.




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.

4½ hours

plus marinating


  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 1

    tablespoon sweet paprika, preferably smoked


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Hampton A.
June 2, 2023
Where's the sauce
Hey want to make this tomorrow. What am I missing? Where is the sauce?
Melodie R.
January 3, 2023
Cuban sandwich with Mojo sauce
I made the pork roast and the bread. Both were very good recipes. We had the roast with mashed potatoes and radicchio and lettuce salad. Today we will have the Cuban sandwich. Thank you for always having recipes to be counted on.
Tyler B.
June 27, 2022
perfect pork
For years I have been trying to replicate the Cuban pork I've had in restaurants and this really takes you there. Perfect for a dinner party served alongside black beans and fried yuca.
William P.
August 5, 2023
Oh hells to the yeah!
Made this with both boneless and bone in. Both worked just fine. (Boneless was short on juice) It was well received by my neighbors and is a regular request for pot luck events. Quick question, the ingredients don't give a specific amount of salt so I've been eyeballing it and would love to know if there is a specific amount you recommend?
Deborah V.
August 4, 2023
I was so excited to try this recipe. I followed the recipe to the letter and ended up with pork that was very tough and without much flavor. I was surprised given all the wonderful ingredients. You win some, you lose some!
Michael M C.

I’ve made this a couple of times and it’s delicious.

William W.

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Michael L.

Can this be made with boneless pork shoulder?

Lynn C.

Hi Michael -

We didn't test it with boneless, but we think it will work fine. Just keep in mind that a boneless cut will likely cook a little faster.

The Milk Street Team

Garret W.

I made this recipe and despite crimping and closing the foil very carefully, I had zero liquid left, a charred pan, and a tough undercooked roast. Given that you only add 1/4 cup of juice to the pan, I do not understand how there could have been any other outcome. Why not braise this in a dutch oven to retain moisture?

Lynn C.

Hi Garret -

A 4-5 lb. bone-in pork butt should release a fair amount of liquid. That, combined with the steam created from being sealed inside the foil "packet" should have produced a pretty significant amount of juices. A few things could have affected this result. Did you use a 4-5 lb. bone-in roast? Did you salt the roast for at least an hour ahead of cooking (this helps the roast retain moisture)? Did you have to open the packet during cooking and then did you ensure it was resealed tightly before continuing?

We chose the steam cooking method over braising because we didn't like the texture of the meat when it was submerged in the juice. It became mushy due to the acidity from the citrus, yet we felt that having the citrus in the packet to create steam added flavor. The moist aromatic vapor produced from the moisture released from the pork and the juice adds to the flavor of the meat.

The Milk Street Team

Doug M.

Rather than fussing with the foil and parchment and risk the foil tainting the flavor, would an oven bag work?

Lynn C.

Hi Doug -

We haven't tested this recipe in an oven bag so we can't make recommendations on its use.

The Milk Street Team

Stacey D.

What about modifying for Instant Pot? To speed the process, then put in the oven to finish it off?

Lynn C.

Hi Stacey -

We have an Instant Pot version of the recipe, which can be found here:

The Milk Street Team

Seth M.

I don't have a roasting pan currently, I imagine this would work fine in a slow cooker right?

Lynn C.

Hi Seth -

We have an Instant Pot slow cooking version of the recipe that can be found here: I'm sure you can modify it to work in your slow cooker by following the "SLOW" directions in the recipe.

The Milk Street Team

Shari S.

I modified this to make it with ground pork, since there are only two of us and we can't eat a whole shoulder. I simmered all the juice ingredients together then strained it, sauteed 1 lb of ground pork with smoked paprika and salt, drained it, then mixed cornstarch with the juice and added it to the pork. It was delicious!

elizabeth b.

Made this twice and it’s awesome! The foil parchment thing is a little annoying but it’s so worth it!