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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Before The Soup

Last time I blogged about making black bean soup with the bone from roasted pork.  Here is how to make the roast pork so you will have the bone you need for your soup.  This pork can also become an ingredient in your Cubanos (Cuban sandwiches).

You can use any kind of pork shoulder to make this dish.  The one I like best is also the cheapest.  My market often has it for only 99 cents a pound.  It is often called picnic ham or picnic shoulder and usually has a layer of fat and one of skin still attached.  Don't be fooled by the name "ham".  It is not smoked or cured like a ham, it is fresh pork meat.  Other cheap cuts are called pork shoulder (duh) or pork butt.  These range (in my area) from about $1.29 to $1.89 per pound.  If you buy the picnic ham or shoulder that has the skin attached you will be rewarded with crisp, crackly pork similar to chicharones to nosh on. 

The other day, Bill said he had something for me. It was Miguel's recipe for roast pork, which he had written out for me.  As Miguel says, the amount will vary based on the size of the pork shoulder you have.  You probably want enough marinade to thoroughly coat the meat and some to drip down.

Adobo (Goya brand - a powdered seasoning mix)
Black Pepper
Garlic (7 cloves or more, smashed or crushed or minced)
Sour orange (naranja agria - a bottled marinade mixture also by Goya)
Start with about 2 cups of the marinade, or just use the whole bottle.

Start this recipe a couple days before you wish to eat the pork - it will have to marinade a day or two.  Mix up the marinate and then slash into the pork all over.  Rub the marinade all over the pork and try to get some into the slashes as well.  Wrap it and place it in a deepish dish or pan in the fridge (or on a unheated back porch if it's winter) to rest for at least a day or overnight.  If you have a plastic bag large enough, you can place the marinade and meat inside and turn it easily several times during the marinating process.

Remove the wrapping and roast in a covered roasting pan 3 hours at 400 degrees, then uncover and cook 45 minutes longer at 450 to crisp up the skin.

Remove the crackly skin and carve into serving pieces to serve along with the sliced pork.  Arroz con Gandules (rice and pigeon peas) is a good accompaniment.  I will post that recipe if Miguel is kind enough to share it.  Homemade potato salad goes well too.  Serve any of the pan drippings as a sauce over the meat after skimming the excess fat.  Save any extra drippings to add to your soup stock along with the bone and any trimmings of fat.

Quotable quotes; in the category If wishes were . . . wait, what?

"Beef wishes it tasted like pork."  Anonymous

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