This is not quite any particular Caribbean style pork recipe, but pulled out elements from Cochinito Pibil, and Puerto Rican and Cuban Pernil (or Lechon) Asado. As usual with pork shoulder, a long slow cooking time is key.
If you can’t get achiote, replace it with 1 teaspoon ground turmeric. Orange – particularly sour (Seville) oranges are traditional in this, but a mix of lemon and orange juice works well, as do Meyer’s lemons since they are a natural cross between a lemon and an orange. I’ve also made it with regular lemons only, and thought that was delicious. I have yet to make it with limes, but I certainly expect to at some point, and I suspect that will also be terrific.
10 to 12 servings20 minutes prep time
12 to 24 hours to marinate3.5 to 6 hours to cook
Make the Marinade:
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon allspice berries4 teaspoons cumin seeds1 tablespoon achiote seeds1 tablespoon rubbed oregano1 teaspoon rubbed thyme4 bay leavesthe finely grated zest of 1orange OR 2 Meyer’s lemons1 large head of garlic2 pieces ginger root, 1″ x 1″ x 2″ each
1/4 cup soy sauce2/3 cup mixed lemon and orange OR Meyer’s lemon juice
Grind the pepper, allspice, cumin, and achiote together. Mix them with the oregano and thyme. Put them in a container which can be covered and which will hold the pork roast fairly snugly. You could use a large zip-lock bag.
Grate the zest from the orange or lemon. Peel and finely mince or grate the garlic. Peel and finely mince or grate the ginger. Add these to the spices, along with the soy sauce and lemon or orange juice.
Marinate & Braise the Pork:
1.5 to 2.5 kilos (3 to 5 pounds) pork shoulder roast
Put the pork roast into the marinade, and turn it so that it is as evenly covered in it as you can manage. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 18 hours; if it can be turned once or twice during the process, so much the better.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.Transfer the roast with the marinade to a roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 225°F and roast for 1 hour per pound of meat, or a little longer, until very tender and falling apart. Add a little broth or water to the pan if it appears to be drying out at any point. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
If you like – and I recommend it – strain the cooking liquid while the roast rests, and serve some of it over the roast once it has been sliced (or pulled apart).
Last year at this time I made Rutabaga & Apple Soup.