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Cuban-Style Pork Roast

Pork shoulder is an inexpensive cut of meat, and since it cooks slowly at a low temperature, it is also relatively hands-off. From the book "Mad Hungry," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan Books).

  • Servings: 8
Cuban-Style Pork Roast

Source: Mad Hungry, April 2011


  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves (from about 5 sprigs), or 2 teapsoons dried oregano
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 whole limes, cut in pieces
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • One 7 1/2 pound boneless pork shoulder (also known as pork butt or picnic shoulder)


  1. Puree garlic, oregano, olive oil, limes, and salt in a blender or food processor.

  2. Place meat in a roasting pan, and score the fat on top of the pork. Rub garlic mixture all over pork. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours. Flip roast occasionally and redistribute the rub.

  3. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Remove meat from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Place pan in the oven, fat side up, and add 1 cup of water to pan. Roast, uncovered, occasionally basting meat with juices and rub and turning pan to promote even cooking. Cook for 6 to 8 hours, until meat easily shreds. Let rest for 15 minutes, then shred and serve.

Reviews (8)

  • cary 30 Dec, 2012

    Whatever happened to the previous reviews. This recipe is horrible. This is woodsy, bitter, horrible. use tsp of oregano & no lime skin. Use lime/lemon peeled. oil is ok as is garlic. Use mojo from goya and a cup of orange juice. I just redid your recipe & martha stewart will take credit. You will throw it out just as I did. Oh, taste the rub before applying it. I made that mistake and had to throw it out. wasted a 5 hours of cooking & $20 on pork shoulder.

  • cary 29 Dec, 2012

    Sorry this is not Cuban. This is woodsy, bitter, Horrible, Horrible! What a waste of pork shoulder. I had to throw it away. Thank goodness it was not for a dinner party.

    I would peel the lemon and only a teaspoon of oregano and not the amount you suggested, omg.. garlic was an ok amount as the salt. Please taste the rub before applying.
    Without a doubt I would add Mojo to it and even some orange juice to it. Heck I just redid your recipe. I'm doing it my way from now on. Mine delicious!!!

  • montskier1 1 Dec, 2012

    My husband's family is from Cuba and we love this recipe. We are making it for noche bueno dinner this year!

  • rtommyh 14 Aug, 2012

    Don't bother with this recipe--period! After reading the other reviews, I prepared it per the directions except I cut out all of the lime pith and didn't add any rind to the marinade. Still too bitter. The pork shoulder (which I bought from an organic market) didn't shread whatsoever. I had to carve the meat with a sharp knife--it was barely tender. My family cut off the outside of the pork (to get rid of the nasty bitter taste) and ate the pork with A1 sauce. Sorry, but this recipe is awful!

  • Robin Heuver 10 Aug, 2012

    I'm watching that episode right now.....what is a pith? How come it looks burnt on top? Is that because of the marinade?

  • LKH22 24 Apr, 2011

    I made this roast exactly as directed and found that the pith of the limes being ground in with the garlic, oregano and salt made it very bitter. I will make it again but will only use lime zest.

  • Dazzle 20 Apr, 2011

    I only used 1 lime and it was too much! The pithy taste is overwhelming. I tried to fix it (because we cannot eat it as it is) by removing all of the lime marinade and cooking it overnight in a crock pot with mojo. It is just ok. We can still taste the bitter pith, but not as bad. I cannot imagine using 3 limes! How could this possible taste good to anyone!

  • bobbiebuntin 20 Apr, 2011

    This was awfuly bitter! I think it would have been wonderful without the rind. The rind made it too bitter!!! Lucinda said to leave the skins on

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