Cuban Inspired, Braised Mojo Pork

Mojo:

10 garlic cloves, pressed

2 tsp. dried oregano

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground black pepper

1/2 c. fresh squeezed orange juice

1/3 c. fresh squeezed lime juice

1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. kosher salt

Combine ingredients for the mojo sauce in a medium bowl. Pour half of the mixture into a sealable 2 gallon plastic bag or large covered bowl, the other half should be sealed in a covered bowl in the fridge.

Pork:

1, 6.5-7# boneless pork shoulder, fat cap removed, cut into large fist-sized pieces

Lime wedges, for serving

Place pork pieces in the large bag/bowl with the first half of the marinade mix. Coat the meat well and allow to marinate in the fridge for 4 to 8 hours.

Outdoor Cooking Method:

Heat 25-30 charcoal briquettes to start in a chimney. (You will need at least 23 preheated briquettes for generally each hour of cooking. I heat extra in case some break or are too small, overheated, etc. but do not heat multiple batches of briquettes at once.)

Use 7 of the preheated briquettes to make a circle where your dutch oven will sit. Put the 12″ dutch oven in place. (I love using specifically my Lodge 12 Camp Oven. The feet allow this pot to sit up off the bottom coals, promoting even cooking and no direct hot spots.) Pour in pork and marinade mixture. Cover with heavy lid and make another circle on top of the lid with the remaining 16 preheated briquettes. This will make your oven about 325 degrees F inside.

Allow the roast to braise for about 4 hours, checking about a half hour in to make sure your oven is roughly the correct temp and that there is still liquid in the pot. Do this very carefully so you don’t sweep ash into your food! Other than one or two preliminary checks, do not continue to open the lid. It is cooking. Just let it be. The more you check on it, the longer it will take to cook. Also, over the course of time these briquettes will both turn to ash and lose their heat. Preheat a new batch of 23 briquettes and set them up in the  places of the expired batch. Do this roughly every 45-60 minutes, possibly more frequently if you’re in a very cold environment or have higher than average winds. Also, at least every 30 minutes I would use an iron lid-lifter or heavy oven/grill mitts to rotate the base of the oven 1/4 turn to the left, and the lid separately one 1/4 turn to the right. This helps to promote even cooking.

Indoor Cooking Method:

Place the pork and marinade in a 12″ dutch oven. Cover and braise in a 325 degree F oven for about 4 hours.

For Either Cooking Method:

Pork is done when it slides apart easily when pierced with a fork. Take the pot off the heat source. Pour out all the juices, reserving 1 c. and removing the rest. Combine this 1 c. reserved juices with the original reserved, second half of the mojo marinade from the fridge. Whisk together and season with salt if necessary.

Shred the pork and pass the sauce and fresh lime wedges alongside. Serve white rice with cilantro, black beans, and fried plantains as well.

 

 

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