Traditionally reserved for festive and very special occasions, Lechon Asado is a Puerto Rican national favorite dish. It does take a long time to prepare, but actually Lechon Asado is one of the most easy Puerto Rican recipes you will ever find. The key is in the special blend that makes up the marinade, and then having the patience to slow roast it properly.
Lechon Asado Recipe-
- 4 lb. bone-in pork shoulder or butt meat, skins and fat left on
- 1 tbsp. whole black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp. ground cumin
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano leaves
- 1 bay leaf, crushed
- 2 tbsp. kosher salt
- 2 tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 6 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- ¼ cup sour orange juice
- ⅓ cup scallion infused olive oil
- In a mixing bowl, combine together the bay leaf, oregano, cumin, and black peppercorns. Using a mortar and pestle, or a spice mill, grind into a coarse powder.
- Using a small mixing bowl, combine the cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt, and the ground spices. Add and stir in the sour orange juice, scallion infused olive oil, and the crushed garlic cloves, and work the mixture until you have a very loose paste texture. This is your Lechon Asado marinade.
- Place the pork into a large mixing bowl, and pour the marinade over it. Rub the marinade into the meat, turning it over and rubbing several times. Cover the bowl, and refrigerate to marinate for at least 8 hours. During the marinating period, rub, turn, and rub the marinade into the pork once or twice more. If you marinate overnight, that’s fine, just re-rub the meat as soon as you wake up, and maybe once more an hour or so before you start cooking your Lechon Asado.
- When you are ready to cook, take the pork out of the refrigerator, and allow it to warm up to room temperature.
- Preheat your oven to 325° Fahrenheit. (Note: if you have a convection oven, preheat it to 300°F
- Now place the pork into a deep roasting pan and put it in the oven. Roast until the meat’s internal temperature reaches 160°F. (This will take about 40 minutes per pound, so if you don’t have a meat thermometer, and your pork is 4 pounds, then about 2 hours and 40 minutes should do it just fine).
- Take the pork out of the oven and cover it with foil, but loosely – allow the pork to “breathe” just a little.
- Allow the meat to rest and set up for about 10 minutes.
- Serve your Lechon Asado by carving into thick slices and presenting to the table on a large serving platter. Have the cooking juices on the table in a gravy boat, for people to drizzle the au jus over their pork slices. Lechon Asado goes great (and is traditionally served) with Habichuelas Rosadas (Puerto Rican rice and beans).
- Note: you can also save any leftovers, to be sliced thin and served later in sandwiches … delicious!
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