Is finding a simple Cuban pork recipe a chore? I guess this happens because there is more information about Mexican and Puerto Rican cultures in the U.S. than that of any other Latin American ethnicity. I admit there are not a ton of recipes and even articles about Cuba in Hispanic Culture Online, but I want this to change.
Recently I was introduced to delicious Cuban food and I can tell it is famous for its fun yet sophisticated blend of citrusy Caribbean flavors and spices.
I also noticed how important pork is for Cubans, so I decided that a simple Cuban pork recipe for masitas de puerco fritas or fried pork chunks can give you a true taste of Cuba right at your own home.
To be a super star pair this sweet and savory dish with other staples of Cuban cooking, such as black beans and rice or moros y cristianos, fufu or mashed fried plantains, and avocado salad.
Don’t forget to wash all these Cuban dishes down with some mojitos and then enjoy some cafecitos with flan or Cuban pastry for dessert.
Simple Cuban Pork Recipe
Do you know the secret? First, you must prepare your garlic-citrus marinade, which will give the pork its rich Cuban flavor.
12 garlic cloves
1 big red onion
½ cup of olive oil
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of cumin
½ cup of Seville orange juice
Peel and crush the 12 cloves of garlic and scrape them into a large bowl. Don’t cheat by using garlic powder or pre-minced garlic.
Chop up 1 big onion and add it to the bowl, followed by ½ cup of olive oil, 1 teaspoon each of oregano and cumin, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ cup Seville orange juice. Mix well.
We call Seville oranges sour oranges or bitter oranges. They have thick, light yellow peels, tons of seeds and are definitely too sour for eating on their own.
If you can’t find a Seville orange, you can always substitute regular orange juice mixed with lime juice. So in this recipe you would use ¼ cup regular orange juice and ¼ cup lime juice for your substitution.
Once the marinade is ready, you have to prepare the pork. This amount of marinade will flavor up to 2 ½ pounds of pork.
The best type of pork to use for this simple Cuban pork recipe is fresh pork tenderloin. Cut the tenderloin into cubes about 2 inches on each side. Don’t worry too much about cutting every bit of fat out—the fat will help with the flavor later.
Drop your pork cubes into the marinade, ensuring that all the cubes are well covered by the liquid. Leave them in the marinade for a minimum of 3 hours. It’s even better if you can let the mix sit overnight. Of course the marinating pork should be in your refrigerator this whole time.
After the pork is fully marinated, get out a big pot and add 2 cups of water and ½ cup olive oil. Take the pork out of the marinade with a slotted spoon or your hands and put it in the pot.
Turn on the heat and raise the mix to a low boil. Continue simmering for about 35 minutes, or until all the water has boiled off. Allow the pork to brown slightly and get crispy in the remaining oil.
Throw some extra onion slices into the pot and sauté just a little bit. It is important to keep a careful eye on the pork at this point to avoid overcooking it.
Serve the pork hot with the Cuban sides you’ve prepared, and enjoy.
I would love to hear your opinion about this recipe, and if you are Cuban and can give your 2 cents about how to improve the recipe please do so! Thanks for reading and please leave your comment.