Slow Roasted Lechon Asado (Cuban Mojo Pork Shoulder)

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Lechon Asado (Cuban Mojo Pork Roast) is a popular and traditional dish in Cuban cuisine. The recipe involves marinating a pork shoulder in a zesty and flavorful mojo sauce, slow roasting it in the oven until it’s tender and juicy, and serving it with a variety of tasty sides. The aroma of the pork as it cooks is enough to make your mouth water and the flavor is out of this world. This recipe is perfect for family gatherings, dinner parties or special occasions. It’s also sure to impress your guests with its succulent taste and vibrant flavors. This recipe will leave you licking your fingers and wondering where it’s been all your life

lechon asado cuban mojo pork roast

Why Love This Recipe

  1. Flavorful and Zesty: The mojo sauce used to marinate the pork shoulder is packed with flavor and gives the meat a tangy, savory taste that’s hard to resist.
  2. Tender and Juicy: Slow roasting the pork shoulder in the oven results in a melt-in-your-mouth texture that’s juicy and delicious.
  3. Versatile: The pork shoulder can be served with a variety of sides and accompaniments, making it a versatile dish that can be customized to your liking.
  4. Easy to Make: Using less than ten ingredients, this recipe is actually quite simple to make and doesn’t require any fancy equipment or techniques.
  5. Cultural Significance: Lechon Asado Cuban Mojo Pork is a beloved dish in Cuban cuisine and has cultural significance for those who grew up with it or have roots in Cuban culture.

What is Lechón Asado?

Lechon asado is a traditional Latin American dish that typically consists of marinated and roasted pork. The name “lechon” comes from the Spanish word for suckling pig, but the dish can be made with pork of any age.

The preparation of lechon asado can vary depending on the region and the cook’s personal preference. In general, the pork is marinated in a mixture of herbs and spices, which can include garlic, onion, cumin, oregano, and various citrus juices. The marinated pork is then typically roasted on a spit or in an oven until it is crispy on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside. Lechon asado is a popular dish in many Latin American countries, including Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. It is often served at special occasions such as weddings, holidays, and festivals.

What is Mojo Sauce?

Mojo sauce is a tangy and flavorful sauce that is popular in Cuban cuisine. It is typically made with a blend of garlic, citrus juice (usually sour orange juice), olive oil, and spices such as cumin and oregano. Other variations of mojo sauce may include ingredients such as onion, bell peppers, or chili peppers, depending on the recipe and the region where it’s made. Mojo sauce is often used as a marinade for meats such as pork or chicken, or as a condiment to accompany grilled or roasted meats, fish, or vegetables. It is known for its bold flavor and is a staple of Latin American cuisine.

Citrus fruits background. Orange, grapefruit, tangerine, lime, lemon vitamin

Overview of Ingredients

  1. Pork Shoulder: The main ingredient in this recipe is a 5-6 pound bone-in pork shoulder. You can also use boneless. If yours includes the rind (skin), it should be removed before cooking.
  2. Citrus Juices: This recipe uses a combination of orange, lime, and lemon juices. Traditionally, sour oranges such as Sevilles are used. I was unable to find them locally but you can buy them online at Kalamala or at Melissa’s Porduce when in season.
  3. Olive Oil: Adds richness and helps to distribute the flavors of the other ingredients.
  4. Garlic powder: Garlic powder is a convenient and easy-to-use way to add garlic flavor to the marinade. I chose not to use fresh garlic cloves due to the slow cook because I didn’t want it to burn.
  5. Fresh Garlic Cloves: Fresh garlic is used in the sauce for serving.
  6. Ground cumin: Cumin adds a warm, earthy flavor to the marinade.
  7. Dried oregano: Oregano is another herb commonly used in Latin American cooking, and it adds a slightly bitter and aromatic flavor.
  8. Salt and black pepper: To taste.

Dee’s Tips

I scored my pork shoulder from Butcher Box – the subscription service that delivers boxes of the juiciest, most delicious, and ethically-raised meats right to your doorstep. We’re talking grass-fed beef, no-hormone-added chicken, succulent pork, and even seafood. I’ve been a loyal customer for about a year now and my family loves the quality. See my honest review of Butcher Box.

How to Make Mojo Pork Roast (Lechon Asado)

Preheat the oven to 275F.

Marinate the pork shoulder

In a small bowl, combine the orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Whisk until combined.

To prepare the pork shoulder, take a sharp thin knife and poke 2-inch holes all over it every few inches apart.

Place pork in a large zip top bag. Pour half of the mojo marinade over the pork shoulder, making sure to cover it’s well coated.

Refrigerate and marinate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. Remove from fridge allow to rest at room temperature for about an hour.

Roast the Pork

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil lengthwise and another longwise. 

Transfer the pork and its marinade to the foil lined baking sheet. Fold up all sides of the foil and loosely seal so there is enough room for air to circulate. There should be no gaps or holes.

Roast the pork shoulder in the preheated oven for 3 hours. After 3 hours, unfold the foil and crank the oven heat up to 325F. 

Roast for another 2-3 hours or until the meat is tender. The internal temperature should be at least 185F for carving. If you’d like fall apart “pulled pork”, let the internal temp go to at least 200F.

Remove the pork shoulder from the oven and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes before carving.

Make the Sauce

To make the sauce, add a few tablespoons of the pork drippings to the reserved mojo marinade along with fresh minced garlic and oregano. Whisk the mixture together and season to taste.

Serve the pork shoulder hot garnished with parsley or cilantro. Enjoy!

lechon asado cuban mojo pork roast

What to Serve With Mojo Pork Shoulder Roast

  • Rice and Beans: A classic side dish, rice and beans make a perfect pairing with mojo pork. You can make a simple side of white or brown rice and black or red beans, or you can jazz it up with some sautéed onions, garlic, and spices.
  • Fried Sweet Plantains: Sweet and starchy fried plantains are a tasty and satisfying side dish. Simply slice the plantains and fry them until they’re golden brown and crispy.
  • Tostones: Tostones are twice-fried green plantain slices that are crispy and savory.
  • Skillet Green Beans: A go to, easy side dish you can whip up in just a few minutes.
  • Salad: A light and refreshing salad can help balance out the richness of the pork. Try a simple salad of mixed greens, tomatoes, and cucumbers, dressed with a citrus vinaigrette.

How to Store Leftovers

  • Refrigerate: Place the pork in a large container that is airtight or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil once it cools down a bit.
  • Use Within 3-4 Days: Leftover cooked pork should be consumed within 3-4 days. If you’re not planning to use it within this time frame, consider freezing instead.
  • Freeze: Wrap the pork tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place it in a freezer-safe container or bag. Label the container or bag with the date and contents, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

What to do with mojo pork leftovers?

Here are some ideas for using leftover mojo pork shoulder:

  • Tacos: Shred the leftover pork and use it as a filling for tacos. Add some shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and a dollop of sour cream or guacamole for a delicious and easy meal. See how to throw a taco bar party.
  • Cuban Sandwiches: Layer the leftover pork on a toasted bun with some sliced cheese, pickles, and mustard for a tasty and hearty sandwich.
  • Quesadillas: Simply add some shredded cheese, sautéed onions and peppers, and a few spoonfuls of the pork to a tortilla and cook until crispy.
  • Fried Rice: Sauté some veggies, add some cooked rice and the shredded pork, and stir in some soy sauce and scrambled eggs for a quick and easy meal.
  • Salad: Use the leftover pork as a topping for a salad. Add some mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and a citrus vinaigrette.

What other cuts can I use to make Mojo pork?

  • Pork Tenderloin: This cut of meat is lean and tender, and is a great option if you’re looking for a lower-fat alternative to pork shoulder. It can be marinated in the same way as the pork shoulder and cooked in the oven or on the grill.
  • Pork chops: Pork chops can be marinated in the same way as the pork shoulder, and they’re a great option if you’re looking for a quick and easy meal. Simply marinate the pork chops for a few hours, then grill or pan-fry them until they’re cooked through.

Do I have to use pork with my Mojo sauce?

Yep! Here are some great protein alternatives to consider.

  • Chicken: Chicken is a popular alternative to pork for making mojo. You can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs and marinate them in the same mixture of citrus juice, garlic, and spices. Grill or bake the chicken until it’s cooked through and serve it with rice, beans, and vegetables.
  • Beef: Beef can also be used to make mojo. Flank steak or skirt steak are good choices, as they are thin cuts of meat that absorb the marinade well. Marinate the beef for several hours or overnight, then grill or pan sear until it’s cooked to your liking.
  • Fish: Mojo can also be used as a marinade for fish. Mahi-mahi, snapper, or halibut are good options. Marinate the fish for 30 minutes to an hour, then grill or bake it until it’s cooked through.

lechon asado cuban mojo pork shoulder

FAQs

How do I reheat leftover mojo pork shoulder?

Microwave: Place the pork into a microwave-safe dish and cover with a lid or paper towel. Heat on high for 1-2 minutes. Stir and heat for an additional 1-2 minutes until heated through.

Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (176°C). Place the pork onto a baking sheet and cover loosely with foil. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until heated through.

Stovetop: Place about 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the pork and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until warmed through.

Can I make the mojo sauce ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the mojo sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Be sure to give it a good stir before using it to marinate the pork.

Can I make mojo pork in a slow cooker?

Yes you can! Just pace the pork shoulder in a large slow cooker and pour the marinade over it. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until the pork is tender and falls apart easily with a fork.

Can I use bottled mojo sauce instead of making my own?

Yes, you can use bottled mojo sauce if you prefer. However, making your own mojo sauce allows you to customize the flavor to your liking and ensures that the ingredients are fresh and high-quality.

Lechon Asado Mojo Pork Roast is a traditional Cuban dish that is easy to make and full of flavor. The dish involves marinating the pork shoulder in a combination of citrus juices, olive oil, and spices for a minimum of 12 hours to achieve the perfect flavor and tenderness. It can be served with a variety of sides, such as rice, beans, and plantains, and can even be used in leftover recipes like tacos, sandwiches, and salads. Overall, this dish is a great way to bring some Cuban flair to your mealtime and impress your friends and family with your culinary skills.

lechon asado mojo pork roast

Lechon Asado (Mojo Pork Roast)

Posted by Dee
Lechon Asado (Cuban Mojo Pork Roast) is a popular Cuban dish that involves marinating pork in a flavorful mojo sauce and slow roasting until tender and juicy.
5 from 55 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 20 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Cuban
Servings 8
Difficulty Medium

Ingredients
  

For Marinade

  • 1 cup sour orange juice, or 3/4 cup of orange juice, 1/8 cup of lime juice and 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper

For Pork Shoulder

  • 5-6 pound pork shoulder, bone-in or boneless, rind removed.
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 275F.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, olive oil, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Whisk until combined.
  • To prepare the pork shoulder, take a sharp thin knife and poke 2-inch holes all over it every few inches apart.
  • Place pork in a large zip top bag. Pour half of the mojo marinade over the pork shoulder, making sure to cover it’s well coated.
  • Refrigerate and marinate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. Remove from fridge allow to rest at room temperature for about an hour.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil lengthwise and another longwise.
  • Transfer the pork and its marinade to the foil lined baking sheet. Fold up all sides of the foil and loosely seal so there is enough room for air to circulate. There should be no gaps or holes.
  • Roast the pork shoulder in the preheated oven for 3 hours. After 3 hours, unfold the foil and crank the oven heat up to 325F.
  • Roast for another three hours or until the meat is tender. The internal temperature should be at least 185F for carving. If you’d like fall apart “pulled pork”, let the internal temp go to at least 200F.
  • Remove the pork shoulder from the oven and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes before carving.
  • To make the sauce, add a few tablespoons of the pork drippings to the reserved mojo marinade along with fresh minced garlic and oregano. Whisk the mixture together and season to taste.
  • Serve the pork shoulder hot garnished with parsley or cilantro. Enjoy!
Keyword lechon asado
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Meet Dee

Meet Dee

I love to share recipes with real ingredients that are both sweet and savory (especially sweet:) My mission with Gimme From Scratch is to inspire you with recipes that will bring your families together in the kitchen. I'm introverted at heart but know how important socializing can be for maintaining good relationships, when writing not only am looking forward to sharing information - It's also building connections between readers who love good food as much as I do!

17 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for providing slow cooker instructions! I made the sauce ahead of time and used the slow cooker and my lechón was SO tender and flavorful. Perfect recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    Whoa. I can’t believe how amazing this pork turned out! We loved the contrast of flavours and textures but my favourite parts were the crispy bits! This recipe is going on the ‘make again’ list.

  3. 5 stars
    I truly enjoyed the beautiful flavors and love how tender and juicy the meat came out. Great recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    I made this in my slow cooker and loved how simple it was. After 8 hours of the pork cooking in the marinade, it was fork tender and fell right apart. It made a great dinner.

  5. I made this twice so far, once with a bottle sauce and then I came back to try the homemade. DEFINITELY go with the homemade sauce!

  6. 5 stars
    This was one of the best pork roasts I ever made! Thanks for your easy to follow recipe! It made the best sandwiches.

  7. 5 stars
    I just made your Lechon Asado Cuban Mojo Pork Roast and it was incredible! The flavor from the marinade was out of this world, and the pork turned out so tender. My family and I absolutely loved it. Can’t wait to explore more of your amazing recipes! xx

  8. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe and the leftovers tips! We enjoyed the mojo pork roast all week in different ways.

  9. 5 stars
    Loved the recipe! So detailed and so many ways to serve it! Perfect for our weekend lunch!

  10. 5 stars
    I first tried this dish at my favorite Cuban restaurant here in DC. After trying your recipe, I’m glad to know I can make this tasty meal at home and it can taste just as good as the restaurant version!

  11. 5 stars
    This was my first time using mojo sauce and we loved it! We used the meat in tacos and sandwiches and really enjoyed it!

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