Photo by Hispanic Kitchen

Lechón Asado (Roast Pork)

Cuisine: Cuban
Servings: 16-20 servings

Lechón asado is a traditional Cuban dish, much enjoyed throughout the year and even during the holidays.


Cuban-style roast pork has a centuries-old tradition on the island. It is believed that the recipe was brought by a Spanish family that moved to Cuba at the beginning of the 20th century.


Today, it is a family meal related to unity and is accompanied by salad, congrí, and yucca.



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  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the mojo, chopped onion, cumin, and wine to create a marinade with the consistency of a lumpy paste.
  2. Rinse the pork with cold water and pat dry with paper towels or a clean dish towel. With a sharp knife, make slits all over the pork. Place in a deep-sided roasting pan, and pour the mojo over the entire surface of the pork (if you have a syringe, you can inject the pork with mojo).
  3. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 24 hours, turning at least once. The next day, preheat the oven to 325ºF. Cover the pork with foil, and cook for 4 to 5 hours (about 30 minutes per pound). Remove the foil for the last hour of roasting to brown and crisp the skin. The pork is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 180ºF (as measured by an instant-read thermometer).
  4. Remove from the oven, and let it rest on a cutting board, tented with foil. Pour pan juices through a sieve into a fat separator (if you don’t have a fat separator, pour the juices into a deep bowl and let them cool; the fat accumulates on the surface and can be removed with a spoon). Discard the fat, and then pour the pan juices into a gravy boat.
  5. Let the pork rest for at least 15 minutes, then slice. Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat, and then sauté the sliced onions. Place sauteed onions over pork. Serve with white rice, black beans, and fried green or ripe plantains.

Chef Notes

Commercially produced mojo is also available at Latino grocery stores.

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