Lechon Asado (Pork Roast Marinated in Citrus Juice and Spices)

When I lived in Los Angeles, I always got this dish at the Cuban dive near my home. I have tried to reproduce that delicacy now that I live in DC, and here is my best effort -- enjoy! Be sure to get the pork into the marinade the night before the shindig.

10 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon coarse rock {salt}
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1  bay leaf
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sour orange juice (if not available, use 1/2 cup fresh OJ and 1/2 cup fresh lime juice)
3 pounds pork roast
Prepare the marinade by grinding the garlic, rock salt, and peppercorns into a fine paste with a mortar and pestle. The rock salt works well here because it give you traction for smashing the garlic. Take care to ensure that the peppercorns don't leap out of the mortar when you start grinding.

Put the garlic paste and all the other ingredients except the pork in a large ziplock bag (use one large enough to hold the roast) and whisk carefully. (Be careful not to puncture the bag.)

Remove any excess fat and skin from the roast. Pierce the meat all over and add the roast to the bag with the marinade. Let sit overnight in the refrigerator, agitating it every once in a while to ensure that the marinade gets all over the roast.

About 3 hours before your guests arrive, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the roast and place it (fat side up) into a roasting pan. Keep the marinade for basting as needed. Roast the pork for about 2 1/2 hours or until the temperature of the meat reaches 165 degrees. Baste the pork frequently with the reserved marinade. If the drippings and herbs begin to smoke, add a little bit of water. (Don't add a lot of water: We want to roast this thing, not steam it.)

Let the meat rest for several minutes, during which time it will continue to cook. Once it has cooled, cut the roast into thin slices to serve.

Ease of Preparation: Moderate

Preparation Time: 20 min
refrigerate overnight

Cook Time: 3 hrs

Recipe By: Chris Fair

From:  Cuisines of the Axis of Evil
Used with permission of Globe Pequot Press