One of my favorite dishes in the world is the “Lechón Asado” from Versailles restaurant in Venice Beach, California. Very Cuban name right?
I have pined for this tangy and unctuous pork dish ever since I left Southern California in 2006. Pardon me while I weep for a moment.
Yet, it was not until recently, that I thought, heck, why don’t I attempt to make this dish myself? My goals are created and achieved at the speed of molasses.
Actual Lechón Asado seemed a bit daunting, so I Googled and Googled and robbed a bunch of different recipes for Cuban Mojo pork, until I conjured one up that I was happy with. The secret sauce is literally “the sauce”, which is the “Mojo” (pronounced moho and nothing like your sensual prowess) and like any super traditional sauce, everyone makes it differently, so I played with it until it transported me to Versailles, in Venice California.
I use my crock-pot for one or two things and this is definitely number one. I have all of the footage fixins for the black beans and rice video that should accompany this video, but alas, I have Thing 1 and Thing 2 residing in my home, so I will give you the recipe to the super easiest Cuban black beans and rice ever, for now, but will throw together a video when the kids graduate from College. Just kidding, the video will come soon.
Cuban Mojo Pork a la Crockpot
a big crock pot
4-6 lb pork butt/shoulder quartered & stabbed
Juice 2 large oranges & 4 limes
1 head garlic peeled
1-2 T sea salt
2 T divided dry oregano
1 large onion
1 t peppercorns
1. Cut the pork butt/shoulder into roughly 4 pieces and stab all over.
2. Juice the 2 oranges and 4 limes and blend or pulse with entire head of garlic. Peel it first please.
3. Slice 1 big old onion and divide it in two.
4. Open up two gallon-sized freezer bags and place them side-by-side on a sheet pan or anything that will hold them and prevent them from spilling in case they burst, which has never happened to me. Fold them over half way and open them up.
5. Throw half the onions, oregano, peppercorns, salt and citrus/garlic juice into each bag.
6. Place half of the pork each bag.
7. Seal each bag almost completely and remove the air. Finish sealing and gently massage/ squish around until there is onion and everything else all over the pork.
8. Lay each bag on it’s side and throw in the fridge for 4-10 hours and flip occasionally.
9. Dump contents of both bags into a large crock-pot.
10. Cook on low for 10 hours.
11. Skim the fat with a large spoon or however you like to do it.
12. You may break up the pork a little or serve the chunks whole.
Serve with my super easy black beans and rice and DON”T FORGET TO SPOON JUICE/SAUCE OVER THE PORK. It is all about the sauce. Be careful to not serve peppercorns as they lead to pleasure interruptus.
Super Easy Cuban-Style Black Beans
2 Cans organic black beans with liquid
1 Can organic kidney beans with liquid (yes, I know, a little weird , but amazing)
1 cup or so of chicken stock ( I like Kirkland Organic)
2-4 T olive oil
1 t each cumin, onion powder and garlic powder or more.
1 Bay leaf
Sea Salt tt (salt toward the end)
(If you like porkiness, you may render some bacon and throw it in or even chop up raw bacon real small and throw it in too)
1.Throw everything into a medium sauce pan.
2.Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 20-40 minutes depending on how thick you want them. If you want them even more thick, mash a little with a potato masher or stick an immersion blender in for a few seconds.
3. Taste and add sea salt as needed. If you used bacon you will need less salt.
Super Easy White Rice
1 Cup of long grain rice. I use Jasmin.
1.5 cups liquid i.e. water or chicken stock
2 T olive oil
1 t salt
1. Dump everything into a small sauce pan and mix. I don’t wash my rice because I don’t mind starch and boiling will kill any remnants of the folks who picked the rice. Smiley face.
2. Bring to a boil on medium heat and when you see little holes form and not a lot of water is left, like after 15 minutes, cover and lower the heat to super low and the rice should be done in 10-15 minutes or so. It is ok to taste the rice after 10.