4.26.2017

PUERTO RICAN PORK ROAST


Is there really anything better than slow roasted pork? Crispy bits mixed in with tender flavorful pieces is food perfection. By preparing it in different ways it's totally acceptable to eat roasted pork multiple times a week, right? Covered in cilantro sofrito, roasted to crispy skin perfection and served in a corn tortilla with pickled red onions and avocado this recipe is one of my favorites.



A sofrito is just a paste of aromatics and herbs. I prefer sofritos to marinades because I love how easy it is to get a flavor packed paste to marinate any meat simply by quickly pulsing an onion, some garlic and a mix of herbs in a food processor. The flavor combinations are endless and it helps seal the moisture in during the long roast while adding a ton of flavor.

To give your sofrito slather time to really flavor your meat, you have to plan ahead with this one. Make the sofrito one day and marinate your meat overnight, then slowly cook the roast over about 7 hours the next day. It's not a difficult 7 hours of cooking, most is inactive oven time, but it does take some patience. 

Gather your ingredients

1 1/2 cups chopped cilantro leaves and steams, 1 large or 2 medium onions, 1/4 cup salt, 1/4 olive oil, 1 head of garlic, 2 Tablespoons black pepper, 1 Tablespoon dried oregano, 1 Tablespoon ground cumin, 1 bone in pork picnic shoulder roast, zest and juice from 3 limes


Prepare sofrito by first peeling garlic and peeling and rough chopping onions.


Place 1 cup cilantro, onions, salt, oil, garlic, pepper, oregano, and cumin in food processor and pulse until finely ground.


Pat pork dry with paper towels, rub cilantro sofrito all over and place in large (2 gallon) freezer bag. Seal and refrigerate at least 12 hours and up to 24.


Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place marinated pork roast skin side down in a large roasting pan and pour water in until it reaches halfway up the roast. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 90 minutes. This initial steam ensures that the layer of skin transforms from collagen to gelatin, so that we can crisp it up later.


Remove foil, reduce oven to 375 degrees and continue to roast for 2 1/2 hours.


Remove pan from oven and gently transfer the roast from the pan to a non stick v rack, skin side up. Pat skin dry and return to oven for 1 more hour. Check the pan frequently and add additional water to ensure that the bottom of doesn't dry out.

After an hour, transfer the v rack with the roast to a foil lined baking sheet and increase oven temperature to 500 degrees. Cook until the skin is crispy, 15 to 30 minutes. Then transfer to a cutting board and let rest at least 30 minutes.


Meanwhile, pour pan juices into a measuring bowl and add water if necessary to make 1 cup.Whisk remaining 1/2 cup cilantro, lime zest and 1/3 cup lime juice into juices.


Remove crispy skin from pork and coarsely chop into bite sized pieces.  Remove pork from bone and also chop. Add to a large bowl and pour 2/3 of cilantro lime juices on top. Toss to coat.


Serve with crispy skin, additional cilantro lime juices, quick pickled red onions, lime and avocado.


This luscious and flavorful roast can be eaten in so many ways. My favorite is rolled up in  a warm corn tortilla or I like to serve it over rice.


As always, if you make this or any of the dishes featured on my blog, I'd love to know. Share a picture and tag me on facebook or instagram so I can see your creation. I can't wait to see what you think and how you make it your own. Enjoy!






Puerto Rican Pork Roast
recipe based on one by America's Test Kitchen as featured on Cook's Country

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro leaves and steams, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 (7 pound) bone-in pork picnic shoulder roast
  • 1 Tablespoon grated lime zest
  • 1/3 cup lime juice

Instructions
  • Prepare cilantro sofrito by placing peeled garlic and rough chopped onion with 1 cup cilantro, salt, oil, pepper, oregano, and cumin in food processor. Pulse until finely ground.  
  • Pat pork dry with paper towels, rub sofrito all over and place in large (2 gallon) freezer bag or cover with plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate at least 12 hours and up to 24.
  •  Heat oven to 450 degrees. 
  • Place marinated pork roast skin side down in a large roasting pan and pour water in until it reaches halfway up the roast. 
  • Cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 90 minutes. 
  • Remove foil, reduce oven to 375 degrees and continue to roast for 2 1/2 hours.
  • Remove pan from oven and gently transfer the roast from the pan to a non stick v rack, skin side up.
  • Pat skin dry and return to oven for 1 more hour. Check the pan frequently and add additional water to ensure that the bottom of doesn't dry out.
  • Transfer the v rack with the roast to a foil lined baking sheet and increase oven temperature to 500 degrees. Cook until the skin is crispy, 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Transfer to a cutting board to rest at least 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, pour pan juices into a measuring bowl and add water if necessary to make 1 cup. 
  • Whisk remaining 1/2 cup cilantro, lime zest and 1/3 cup lime juice into juices.
  • Remove crispy skin from pork and coarsely chop into bite sized pieces.  Remove pork from bone and also chop. Add to a large bowl and pour 2/3 of cilantro lime juices on top. Toss to coat. 
  • Serve with crispy skin on the side. Accompanied by additional cilantro lime juices, quick pickled red onions, limes, avocado and either warm corn tortillas or rice.

8-10 servings



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