I had this girlfriend from Barcelona who had many charms and talents, not the least of which was in the kitchen. On occasion, she would make me a traditional dish, which I have long forgotten the name of – it was cubed chunks of porks heavily encrusted with herbs. It was delicious, especially served with her family’s version of patatas bravas.
(Funny, I’ve traveled all over the world, and nearly the best Spanish food / tapas I have ever had was at a joint in Amsterdam. At least I think so. Too much “coffee” prior to dinner may have influenced my opinion.) (Warning: do not attempt to negotiate the stairs to the bathroom in that place if you aren’t 100% “right.”)
Now that you know all that, this recipe is nothing like hers, but it’s good, nonetheless, and turns a quite ordinary event into a culinary masterpieces. Spoiler alert? It does take some advance planning.
Cuban Braised Pork Shoulder
Total preparation time 42 hours!!!!!
3 pound pork shoulder or butt
- 1/2 C fresh oregano
- 1/4 C fresh parsley
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 T black pepper
- 1 ½ T sea salt
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 T white vinegar
- Red pepper flakes, to taste, is an option
Using a mortar and pestle (or mini Cuisineart), grind the ingredients above together into a thick paste:
Make a series of deep crosshatch -cuts into a 3 pound pork roast (shoulder best, butt second choice) , and rub the paste well into the meat, covering as much of the surface as you can.
Cover, refrigerate for 24 hours.
Place in a crock pot with 2 more T of vinegar and cup of water.
Cook on low, for 18 hours. Turn ONE time during cooking, otherwise leave that F&*((&& lid on!
Remove from pot, let rest on cutting board for 20 minutes. The roast will fall apart easily, into larger pieces or shredded, as you desire to serve.
Serve with roasted potatoes or black beans and rice.
Leftovers? “Cuban” pulled pork sandwiches!
What I thought was ultra-cool about this method, tho I was hesitant to leave anything in a crock pot for 18 hours, was that the liquid eventually evaporates and some of the bits of pork get crusty edges and tips (second photo below), much like if it had been done on a smoker or grill. Come to think of it, if one desired, they might add a dash of liquid smoke.
pork roast recipe slow cooker