Slow Roasted Cilantro Pork
One of the great success stories we have about the discovery of great spices changing your life is our own Taniqua. She had never heard of cumin before and now that she knows about it - it’s her favorite. She uses it in so much of her avid home cooking that she can’t live without it so when we asked her about her favorite spice or personal recipe, cumin and her famous Slow Roasted Cilantro Pork Shoulder were at the top of the list. As a born and bred Brooklyn New Yorker, she has made this dish her own as a version of the classic Latin pernil complete with sofrito. She also loves the Hawayej Rice which makes a great side dish along with some fresh limes for serving.
Slow Roasted Cilantro Pork Shoulder
Tanique Hunt adapted by Helen Park
5-6 pounds boned-out pork shoulder
- 1 cup onion, 1” chunks (about 1 medium onion)
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 bunch of cilantro, trimmed, washed, and cut into 1” pieces
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup cider vinegar
- 1 fresh serrano pepper, seeds included, cut into 1” pieces
2 Tbsp freshly ground cumin (see Recipe Notes for grinder)
1 Tbsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp fine sea salt
Optional Hawayej Rice to serve as a side dish.
- In a blender, puree the garlic, cilantro, olive oil, cider vinegar, serrano pepper, cumin, black pepper, and salt until liquify.
If marinating overnight, place the pork shoulder in an extra-large, sealed bag (or a container that fits) and cover with the sofrito.
- When ready to roast, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Cover the roast with a square of parchment (to keep the pork and marinade from sticking to the foil) and then foil to cover completely.
- Place in the oven to roast for 2 hours.
- Uncover, baste, rotate the pan, and roast again for another 2 hours. There should be about an inch of juices and marinade collecting in the bottom of the pan. Add water if needed to keep that moist heat around the roast as it cooks.
- Gently flip the roast over, baste, and return to the oven for 1 more hour (or until completely tender) – uncovered.
- Remove the roast from the oven to rest for 20 minutes.
- Move the tender meat to a platter and serve warm. Pour the juices into a bowl for serving on the side.
For those spices that typically aren’t eaten whole (peppercorns, cumin, allspice, star anise etc.) it is convenient to keep a little bit ground and ready – just do small batches to keep things fresh. This is the grinder Lior recommends and uses for small needs. It’s a little quieter, utilizes good technology to help with even grinding, and has a removable container for easy cleaning and storage.
This recipe can be made with a bone-in pork shoulder too. The boned-out version is preferred because the marinade permeates the roast with flavor.
When covering the roasting pan with foil, avoid crimping the foil all around the edges. Just give a fold to the corners to keep the foil closed around the pan in place. This makes it easy to check, baste, and re-cover the roast each time without tearing foil and making new covers each time.
Quick tip for cleanup: Before adding the pork and marinade to the roasting pan, give the roasting pan a healthy spray with nonstick cooking spray. It will mean much less scrubbing on the other side.
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