Sunday morning, as I was writing out the grocery list for the coming week, I got it in my head that I really, really MUST have a Cubano. As soon as the idea lighted in my head, I became obsessed.
The most important partof a Cubano is the roast pork, and since I already had a pork roast thawing in the fridge, I went seeking a recipe for Cuban-style roast pork. I found a recipe at Chronicles of a Curious Cook and followed it pretty much exactly. The result was a fantastic pork roast that we ate last night sliced thin with the last jar of homemade applesauce from last autumn and cloverleaf rolls I baked yesterday. It would have been better with black beans and fried plantains, as suggested in the recipe, but we were in short supply of plantains, so I made do.
2 Tbs minced garlic – I just used 4 cloves and put them through my garlic press
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup dark rum
3/4 cup orange juice – I used 2 large oranges, which seemed to give me a lot more than 3/4 cup
1/4 cup lime juice – I used 2 limes, which seems to give me a lot more than 1/4 cup
3 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp black pepper – I didn’t notice that it said the recipe calls for 1tsp, so I’ll add more pepper next time
1 pork roast, bone-in or boneless, 4-6 pounds – I used a 3-pound boneless center-cut pork loin
This really couldn’t be easier. Mix up all the ingredients except the meat. Put the meat into a large zipper bag, pour in the marinade, and seal, getting out as much air as possible. Then plunk the whole thing in the fridge and let it get yummy. I started marinating around 7pm on Sunday and cooked it around 6pm on Monday, so it had plenty of time to marinate. I bet it would be even tastier with a longer soak.
Take the pork out of the fridge about an hour before you want to cook it, to allow it to come to room temperature. Pre-heat the oven to 325°. Put the pork into a roasting pan with a rack on the bottom, then pour the marinade over it. Roast for 1.5 to 2 hours, basting occasionally. (I can’t recommend silicon basting brushing enough when it come to this kind of thing.) If the liquid dries out at the bottom of the pan, add a cup of water.
For pork to be cooked to medium, you want an internal temperature of 160°. I took my roast out when it hit 150°, covered it tightly with foil, and let it rest for 15 minutes. At the end of the rest period, it was at 160° exactly. Perfect. It took nearly 2 hours; I think I took it out at 1 hour, 50 minutes.
Tonight, this will be added to some nice long rolls with ham, Swiss cheese, mustard, and sweet & spicy pickles to make Cubanos. I’m already excited for tonight’s dinner.