Cuban Fried Pork
Recently, while we were in New York visiting, we chanced into a totally authentic Cuban cafe complete with the local politicos and all the cast of characters you would expect if you were in Havana. It was a rainy afternoon, and the cozy cafe had a long wall of tables across from a lunch counter with those red vinyl fixed stools that swivel, running down the other side. The narrow walkway in between was crowded with waiters, take out customers and people who seemed to be family. There was lots of loud talking and hugs and back slapping. It had the typical retro feel of Cuba. The brightly painted walls were filled with photos from Cuba, maps of the island and famous people photos with signed messages to the owners. It seemed obvious that many of the patrons of the restaurant were Cuban expats and if Papa Hemingway had been at a table in the back it would have fit right in!
We ordered the Cuban Fried Pork Masitas and plantains with rice and beans hoping for the best from an unknown chef. The aroma of the pork arrived before the plates and it was mouth watering. Crisp on the outside and tender and flavorful on the inside, it was a fabulous discovery!
Once home I started craving that pork. It gets into your head, it makes you crave it and thanks to a freezer full of wild pork, we can now make it at home! The environment is slightly different but this recipe captures the essence of the dish and is puro facil!
The hardest part is preparing the marinade (which accounts for the flavorful part of the pork)
and that is as easy as chopping onions and garlic.
Marinate 3-4 hours or overnight. Drain pork and then cook in water with oil and once the water has evaporated continue frying the pork in the oil!! The black beans and white rice are easy and we added a nod to Mexico with quacamole with pico and sliced mangos and melon. It’s not Havana, pero bien sabroso!! !Salud!
Cuban Fried Pork
Marinate 2 1/2 lbs. of pork chunks 3-4 hours or over night in the refrigerator with the following:
12 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed (this is not a typo, it’s really 12)
1 lg. onion, medium chop
1/2 c. sour orange juice (1/4 orange+1/4 lime)
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
1-2 tsp. ground cumin
Remove meat from marinade. Place in pot with additional 2 cups of water and add 1/2 cup of olive oil. Simmer on medium until all the water has evaporated (30-45 min.). Brown chunks of pork in the remaining oil until crispy and if you desire, add slices of onion in the last 5 min. to add to the presentation and flavor(optional).
Serve with rice, black beans, fried plantains if you have them and invite you friends who love pork.