Manchego Cheese and Quince Paste
Serrano Wrapped Shrimp with a Romesco Dipping Sauce
Cuban-Style Asado Pork with Vino Mojo
It's still February and we will have a good covering of snow on the ground for some time. Since I don't have a tropical vacation on my calendar in the near future, I'll try to escape the cold through food (and I had a large pork shoulder in the freezer that needed a good home, like the plate in the above photo☺).
This recipe is a spin on the classic mojo sauce that is prepared in various ways; the most popular version consisting of fresh orange juice for a sour note and copious amounts of raw garlic for a piquant flavor. This recipe uses a white wine reduction and lime juice for the sourness and roasted garlic and roasted shallots for a milder pungency. The caramelization of the garlic and shallots lends a deep flavor. Both components are blended with herbs and seasonings and the pork marinates in the mixture overnight. Then it is roasted in the oven for several hours until it practically falls off the bone. Serve the sauce on the side and try and hold yourself back from going for seconds and thirds. But do try because leftovers are wonderful in tacos and sandwiches. Carnitas and Cubanos anyone??
Cuban-Style Asado Pork with Vino Mojo
1 large head of garlic, unpeeled
4 medium shallots, peeled and quartered
2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups dry white wine (I use a Sauvignon Blanc)
5-6 pound bone-in pork shoulder
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 bay leaves, broken
1 Tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1/2 cup Extra-Virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350º F. Slice the top third of the garlic head to expose the clove, leaving the stem intact. Place the garlic on a sheet of aluminum foil, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Seal the foil tightly to enclose the garlic. Place the pouch on a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat the procedure using the shallots and remaining olive oil. Place the shallot pouch on the baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 1 hour. Cool to room temperature inside the foil. (The roasted garlic and shallots will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week). Squeeze the roasted cloves from the skin; set aside. Trim the root end from the shallots and roughly chop; set aside.
In a small saucepan, bring the wine to a boil and reduce by half. Cool to room temperature.
In a blender or food processor, combine the wine reduction with the lime juice, roasted garlic, roasted shallots, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper, and blend until smooth. With the motor running, pour the olive oil in a slow steady stream to emulsify. Put a plastic zipper-lock bag big enough to hold the pork into a mixing bowl. Put the pork in the bag and pour the wine mixture in the bag; close the bag. Allow the pork to marinate in the refrigerator overnight, turning the bag occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 325º F. Remove the pork from the bag, reserving the marinade in the refrigerator. Season the pork all over with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the pork in a large Dutch oven or roasting pan, fat side up. Cover and cook in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven and carefully turn the pork fat side down, pour the reserved marinade over the meat, cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours longer or until the meat is almost falling off the bone. Remove the pork from the oven and increase the temperature to 375º F. Uncover the pork and turn the pork fat side up and cook for 30 minutes to brown the pork. Remove the pork from the oven and transfer to a cutting board to let rest. Pour the juices from the pan into a gravy separator or a clear glass heatproof container. The fat will rise to the top and the wine "mojo" will sink to the bottom. Discard the fat and strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve. Keep the sauce warm in a saucepan until ready to serve.
To serve, remove the roast from the bone and slice or shred into large pieces. Serve with the vino mojo. Enjoy!
Source: Adapted from Everyday Dining with Wine, by Andrea Immer