For all the Cuban food lovers, here is a very simple and delicious, yet very iconic Cuban dish, Mojo Pork!!
Rich and succulent tender shredded pork with amazing flavors created by citrus juice, plenty of garlic and some select herbs. All you are doing is making a quick Mojo Marinade and cooking the pork slow and low for hours, smothered in citrusy Mojo.
This is your dump and go, super easy crockpot recipe…
We made our Mojo Marinade quite early in GypsyPlate’s journey. We love how simple, everyday ingredients can create a bomb of flavors. This Cuban marinade is very versatile, and you can make cracking delicious Cuban Food with a simple whisk of a few ingredients.
Today’s Mojo Pork is a very traditional Cuban recipe, and can be found on many restaurant menus.
You Will Make Mojo Pork All the Time, ‘cos
- As mentioned earlier, this is a ‘dump-it-and-forget-it’ meal making it extremely easy. No need for any extra attention or slaving in the kitchen. If you’re new to Cuban food, it’s a great introductory dish to the cuisine.
- Mojo Pork can feed large crowds, making it a perfect contender for get togethers and parties.
- It’s very versatile, and can be served in many different ways.
- It’s absolutely finger licking delicious with every single bite, brimming with garlicky, citrusy Cuban flavors.
What is Mojo Pork
Mojo Pork is a flavorful and iconic dish from Cuban cuisine. At its heart, it involves pork, often a shoulder or butt, that’s marinated in mojo, a traditional Cuban marinade.
The meat is cooked slow and low, resulting it fork tender meat. It’s often shredded and served along with the juices it creates during cooking. Some recipes are cooked in a crockpot, and some are roasted in the oven.
We personally love to cook it in a crockpot, as it gets juicy and tender, and then crisp it just a little by either broiling or baking it for a few minutes. The end result is extremely delicious.
What is Cuban Mojo
Mojo is a signature marinade of Cuba, pronounced “MO HO”. It’s just a mix of citrus juices, fresh onion and garlic, some herbs and olive oil.
This is one marinade or sauce that you will find in every Cuban household, though you will likely find each family has their own little variation.
For example, some use olive oil, some don’t. We personally feel olive oil helps when cooking the meat to keep it moist, but with fattier cuts you can go with less, or no, oil.
Traditionally, Mojo is made of sour, almost bitter, oranges from Cuba, similar to Seville oranges. Many Cubans in Florida have their own sour orange tree in their backyard.
Sometimes you do spot them in grocery stores, but if you don’t get your hands on them, that’s ok. You can still create great flavors by mixing and matching your citruses.
Today we just used a mix of orange, lime and lemon juice in our marinade to make Mojo Pork, and it still gives lip-smacking results. Use whatever citruses are available to you. We have a detailed Mojo Marinade Recipe on GypsyPlate.
What Cut of Pork to use for Mojo Pork
For Mojo Pork, a cut of pork that has a good amount of marbling and connective tissue is usually the best choice, because it becomes tender and flavorful during slow cooking.
The most commonly used cuts come from the shoulder, such as picnic roast or Boston butt. They are well-marbled and rich in flavor, making shoulder perfect for Mojo Pork.
Pork loin is leaner than the shoulder, but it can still work well for Mojo Pork if cooked properly. It’s a good choice if you prefer a slightly leaner meat. Cooking time may vary when you are trying to cook pork loin in a crockpot.
Mojo Pork Ingredients
- Pork – We used a large chunk of pork shoulder today.
- For Mojo Marinade – Olive oil, orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice, garlic, dried oregano, salt, pepper, chopped onion, chopped cilantro.
Mojo Pork Recipe:
1. Make a quick Mojo Marinade: Mix all of the ingredients for Mojo marinade.
2. Prep the meat : Make a few slits all over the surface of the pork. If you have time, you can marinate the pork for 4-6 hours.
3. Cook Mojo Pork in a crockpot: Place the pork shoulder in the crockpot and add prepared mojo marinade. Make sure the pork gets well coated with the marinade. Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours, or on low for 8 or until tender.
4. Crisp up the pork (optional but very highly recommended step): To crisp up the pork, gently place it on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, or until its starts getting brown and crisps up a little.
5. Shed the Pork: Shred the pork with forks and serve it with the cooking juices, or you can make a quick sauce.
For quick Mojo Sauce: After removing the pork roast from the slow cooker, skim the fat off the top of the liquid. Place all the liquid in a sauce pan and heat on medium high heat. Dissolve 1 Tbsp cornstarch with 1 Tbsp cold water. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the cooking liquids, and stir until the sauce thickens slightly. You can use more cornstarch slurry to thicken it to your liking. Serve the sauce over Mojo Pork.
Cuban Pork Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Marinade Time: Allow the pork to marinate for a longer period of time, preferably overnight. The flavors from the marinade need time to penetrate the meat. The longer it marinates, the more flavorful it will be.
- Fresh Ingredients and Homemade Mojo: Always make fresh, homemade mojo, and avoid store bought mojo marinade for best testing mojo pork. Use fresh ingredients for the mojo marinade. Fresh garlic, citrus juices, and herbs will make a big difference in the flavor of the marinade.
- Quality Meat: Choose a well marbled cut of pork shoulder. Make sure it has a nice layer of fat, which will keep the meat juicy and flavorful while it cooks.
- Slow Cook: Slow cook the pork at a low temperature to ensure it becomes tender and succulent. Low and slow is the way to go.
- Crispy Edges: If you like crispy edges (and who doesn’t?), don’t skip crisping it up in the oven. This will give it some nice, crispy bits that add texture and extra flavor.
- Don’t Discard the Cooking Liquid: The cooking liquid is full of flavor. Use it to moisten the pork after shredding, or use it to make a sauce.
- Balance the Flavors: Cuban mojo pork should have a good balance of flavors. It should be garlicky, slightly tangy from the citrus, and with a subtle herbaceous note from the cilantro and oregano. Make sure all these flavors come through in your marinade.
How to Serve Cuban Mojo Pork
Though it’s not traditional to have mojo pork in tacos, we highly vouch for Mojo Pork Tacos with some avocado… delicious!!
You can make pulled pork sandwiches, quesadillas, nachos, and salads with this tasty mojo pork.
Can I Roast Mojo Pork in the Oven?
Take the marinated pork out of the refrigerator for 30 minutes to bring it to room temperature before roasting.
Preheat the oven to 275°F. Remove the pork from the marinade place it in a baking pan, add some marinade on top of the pork, then cover in a foil.
Place the foil-covered pork in the oven. Roast for 3 hours. After 3 hours, turn the oven temperature up to 325°F and remove the foil. Use a large spoon or ladle to baste the pork with the pan drippings.
Continue roasting and occasionally basting, for 2-3 more hours. The pork is done when it is fork-tender (when the meat can be easily pierced with a fork without resistance and easily falls apart with a little pressure).
Remove the pork from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before shredding.
Leftovers and Storing
Storing: Mojo pork is great as leftovers. Refrigerate leftovers, along with any remaining liquids, in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days.
Freezing: Store cooled pork along with liquid in freezer bags. Keep frozen for up to 6 months.
Reheating: Thaw if frozen, then reheat in a skillet on the stovetop, or in the microwave, until warmed through out.
The next time you’re having a get together, or just looking for something super easy to cook with your favorite pork butt, try this easy Cuban pork recipe.
Introduce these easy, delicious Cuban flavors to your friends and family. Load the pork up with those irresistible garlicky, citrusy flavors and enjoy it as a center piece for your next Cuban night.
I betcha, you will cook up best tasting Mojo pork, maybe a tad bit better than your local neighborhood Cuban restaurant.
Mojo Pork, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 4.5 lbs pork shoulder or pork butt (bone-in or boneless)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1.5 cup orange juice
- 1/3 cup lime and lemon juice (you can use either, or mix)
- 8 cloves of garlic, finely minced or chopped
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp cilantro chopped
- Mix all of the ingredients for Mojo marinade.
- Make a few slits all over the surface of the pork.
- Place the pork shoulder in the crockpot and add prepared mojo marinade. Make sure the pork gets well coated with the marinade. (see note 1)
- Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours, or on low for 8 or until tender.
- Optional: To crisp up the pork, gently place it on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, or until its starts getting brown and crisps up a little.
- Shred the pork with forks, then serve with the remaining juices from the slow cooker or sauce. (see note 2)
- If you have time, you can marinate the pork for 4-6 hours, or even overnight, in the refrigerator.
- For quick Mojo Sauce: After removing the pork roast from the slow cooker, skim the fat off the top of the liquid. Place all the liquid in sauce pan and heat on medium high heat. Dissolve 1 Tbsp cornstarch with 1 Tbsp cold water. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the cooking liquids, and stir until the sauce thickens slightly. You can use more cornstarch slurry to thicken it to your liking. Serve the sauce over Mojo Pork.
Nutrition InformationYield 10 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 696Total Fat 51gSaturated Fat 17gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 29gCholesterol 191mgSodium 402mgCarbohydrates 7gFiber 1gSugar 4gProtein 50g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
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