Cuban Style Pork

I am a girl who came from the land of county fairs, each unique for what they bring to the table such as rattlesnake round ups or peanut festivals, etc, but none did I cherish more than the pig jig. That’s right, if there is anything that I love more than cheese, my guilty pleasure in life is BBQ. Barbecue, meaning meat smoked over wood for long periods of time, not grilled. Please do not get me riled up over what is BBQ and what is not. I have eaten Memphis style BBQ, Carolina style BBQ, Alabama style BBQ, Georgia style BBQ, and Kansas style BBQ.  I have even tried the California tri-tip.Each having it’s unique and delicious traits. Though I have my favorites in my head, I can not make any true judgments on BBQ until I make it to Texas to try their BBQ. Then I will feel as though I have covered a good area of BBQ and could make a sound decision. What makes BBQ so good are the cheap cuts of meat cooked over the low slow smoky embers until the fat becomes fluid coating and basting the thing in its own deliciousness. Mmmmm….

I owned my own smoker, a nice mid range one, and once a year we would smoke about 40 lbs of pork butt. Notice I used the term owned. That’s right, when we made the decision to move out of our renovated Victorian to a tiny apartment across the United States, we had to give up the smoker. Sadness… My husband came up with a recipe using pork butt (shoulder) that appeals to that place in my brain for BBQ, its not BBQ, but is a very flavorful meat cooked slow and low and it gets a very nice bark on the outside. Very yummy and delicious. The perfect meat to slice and use in a Cuban sandwich or eat alone with a few sides. Enjoy!

Cuban Style Pork

Cuban Style Pork with squash casserole and applesauce
Cuban Style Pork with squash casserole and applesauce

1 (8-10 lb) pork shoulder (skin and fat cap preferable)

Adobo seasoning

2 oranges, juiced

4 limes juiced

1 green onion

10 cloves of garlic, skin pelled

1 bunch of fresh oregano



1 tsp cumin

In a blender, pulse together everything but the pork shoulder and adobo seasoning. Puncture holes into the pork shoulder. Place pork shoulder in storage bag and pour marinade over top. Marinate in refrigerator over night.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Score fat top of pork shoulder. Sprinkle liberally with Adobo seasoning. Place in large baker on a rack. Cook until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F about 5 hours for a 8-9 lb pork shoulder. Let rest for 10-15 minutes and slice and serve.


20 thoughts on “Cuban Style Pork

  1. Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat.Com™ and commented:
    ” I can not make any true judgments on BBQ until I make it to Texas to try their BBQ.” CORRECTION: You can’t make any real judgement until you make it to Chicago, and try real BBQ, done in a hole in the wall joint called Lem’s on 59th st. under the old State st. El train tracks. But until then, we’ll enjoy this recipe. Thank You “CreativeNoshing”.

    1. Oh man, wish I had known about that a few years ago when I was in Chicago. Thanks for letting me in on that. I will have to write it down for any future visits! Exciting!!! Can you tell I LOVE BBQ!

      1. You love food, cooking and eating, which makes you Da Bomb in my house. Your blog is one of the top three I follow for recipes. Please never stop. ;-)

  2. Pork, is beside lamb my favorite meat and this – I will go for … but a whole shoulder of pork .. for me alone – will look at the supermarket tomorrow .. what I can go for. Just like the flavors in this marinade. Will come back with the results.

    1. There are many options for you. If you just want the marinade flavor, you could buy big thick pork chops and marinate the same way and grill them off, getting the same charred bark on the outside, which is the key to the flavor. Another option is to buy a smaller shoulder, I have seen them as small as 4 lbs(with the bone still in) then you cook them for less time.

      1. Thank you … I thought about a think chop. They have excellent pork meat in my supermarket – very high quality and very tasty. So I will try that.

  3. Here we have the Hog Happenin every year at the Fair Grounds. And all the churches around me do BBQ fundraisers. There is a Methodist church a few miles from here with THE BEST BBQ chicken (not sandwiches – whole chickens!) you have ever had… sauce and slaw on the side. You can smell them cooking for days before the sale.
    Did you ever try my slow cooker Cuban Pork? It’s super easy and really good. And if you ever make it to Asheville, NC there is a restaurant my sister and I love called Havana with bangin Cuban Pork. Actually, everything they have is amazing, including the patio seating :)

    1. Thanks. I remember those church fundraisers. You buy them by the plate and they always had the softest piece of steamed white bread sitting on top. Yes, I totally miss that. I haven’t tried the slow cooker pork yet(my big slow cooker is still in storage until I build some more shelving.) but I did go to that post the other day, to see how you put together your cuban sandwich. I would love to make it to asheville and visit the biltmore and eat in a cuban restaurant. Beautiful area. I want to retire somewhere in the carolinas one day.

  4. What exactly does this adobo seasoning have? Adobo in my country is a staple dish, simmered pork/chicken in vinegar, garlic, bay leaves. Is this one and the same? I’ve always been curious, really :)

    1. Very good question. Thanks for asking. Okay, I used a dry adobo seasoning for this one, though I have seen and used wet versions. The ingredients listed on my Adobo seasoning package in order are onion powder, garlic powder, Tellicherry black pepper, Mexican oregano, cumin, and cayenne pepper. There is very little heat to the seasoning so the cayenne pepper would be a minuscule amount.

      1. Finally, enlightenment about a different adobo! No one could explain it to me before — thanks very much :) Our family’s adobo is simmered in a lot of peppercorns and garlic (with peel), one of the rare kinds of our country. I should try making Mexican adobo for a change. If you happen to have a recipe for it, let me know if you any for sharing? Otherwise, I might start with the Cuban pork recipe you posted :)

  5. Looking through some Rick Bayless and Steve Raichlen cookbooks a safe recipe for Adobo would be 1 Tablespoon garlic powder, 1 Tablespoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1/8 tsp cayenne.

  6. I’ve just come here from your post about Cuban sandwiches… this pork sounds divine! I am definitely going to do this recipe. Should I serve it with rice -or as a roast dinner with vegetables, roast potatoes and gravy?

    1. Thanks for stopping by. This pork is delicious, but you will find it is not a gravy roast. The absolute best side would be rice and beans. The week I made this, I had various odds and ends that I with it and it tasted great.

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