Smoked Cuban Pork

The other day I was watching some MVF on the DVR. This episode was in Miami and they were serving up some wicked Cuban sandwiches. It was really easy to make, but the pork is what made the sandwich. They showed how they roasted a pork shoulder by first marinating in mojo sauce (pronounced: mo-ho).

I had Cuban sandwiches on my mind from then on, I took the pork shoulder out of the freezer to start defrosting it. Now all I need is a recipe for the mojo sauce. So, I get on the interwebs to search this mojo sauce, which calls for bitter oranges (never heard of them).

Not knowing what to do about the mojo, a miracle happened. As luck would have it, my wife bought a mojo marinade at the market last week…it’s on like Donkey Kong!

The Prep

Before I started anything, I had an idea for what I wanted to do on my next pork shoulder. The pulled pork I’ve done in the past have been ok, but not outstanding. After reading Adam Perry Lang’s book, he gave me a great idea to inject marinades into roasts. Therefore, I’m going to inject the mojo directly into the meat.

The first task was to filter out the large particles of herbs and spices in the pre-made marinade. So, I use my fine mesh strainer with a spoon to do this. When I pour the marinade through the metal mesh strainer, I stir it around with the spoon and into a bowl which results in a homogeneous consistency.

Before injection,  I make sure to place the pork shoulder in a foil pan. Next, I take the syringe, fill it up with mojo and start injecting into the meat.

I’m going Chris Lilly crazy with the injection, hitting it from all sides of the 6lb piece of pork. When I’m done injecting, I cover with foil and place it in the fridge.

The amount of time in the fridge is up to you, I suggest at least over night, however, I marinated this bad boy for about 36 hours.

The Rub

I didn’t measure out the quantities for this, but I was going for equal parts of the following items:

  • Coarse Black Pepper
  • Sea Salt
  • Ground Oregano
  • Minced Dried Onion

*Set the minced garlic aside for now.

 The Instructions

  1. Prepare the smoker for 225 degrees.
  2. Take pork shoulder out of the fridge and uncover. Drain any liquid out of the pan.
  3. Rub the minced garlic all over the shoulder and in the folds of the meat.
  4. Mix all rub ingredients together and spread it evenly all over the shoulder. Make sure to get those folds and creases in between.
  5. Place the pork butt on the smoker. I used apple wood for smoke and I placed a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the shoulder.
  6. Cook until it reaches 195 degrees internal temperature.

Steps 3 & 4

Step 5 - Cuban pork on the right

For 9 hours, the Cuban pork roasted on the smoker. I didn’t even peak under the lid once. When the desired internal temp was achieved, the first sight of it looked like this.

The aroma was extremely pleasant and the juices were seeping out of the succulent pork. I take the roast off the smoker to let it rest under a foil tent until it’s cool enough to handle, in about an hour.

Afterwards, I took the shoulder blade out of the meat. It pulls cleanly from the tender pork with no resistance.

Instead of pulling the pork by hand, I used a tip from the GrillinFools. I placed the roast in an extra large storage bag, sealed only ¾ of the way to let air escape. Then, I take my large and heavy cast iron skillet and beat the crap out of the pork. The juices splatter inside the storage bag and the pork is smashed into chunks of tasty treats.

I reached in the storage bag to take a sample and it just melted in my mouth. The pork was juicy with a citrus/earthy/fresh flavor.

I finally get to assemble my Cuban sandwich:

  • Hoagie roll
  • Cuban pork
  • Sliced ham
  • Mustard sauce…I blended regular mustard, mayo, cilantro and a lime.
  • Pickles
  • Swiss cheese
  • Butter

Slice the hoagie (long ways) in half and stuff it with everything except the butter. Melt the butter down and spread it on the outside of the roll. Again, I used the cast iron skillet to flatten the sandwich on the grill, turn over and repeat until it’s crispy.

Oh yeah! This sandwich was everything I was craving…crispy, tender and lots of flavor! Serve it up with some rice and beans and I feel like I’m in Cuba…where’s my cigar?

12 thoughts on “Smoked Cuban Pork

  1. Pingback: Apple Cider Pulled Pork |

  2. Well i was planning on following your guidelines- 225 for 9 hours or so.
    I think I am going to tie the butts with string to avoid them from falling apart and off the spit. Thoughts?

  3. This recipe tastes good but cuban, it isn’t. The smoke flavor overwhelmes the citrus in the mojo. The OP needs to learn a lot about flavor profiles.

  4. Pingback: GrillinFools Tailgate Party | This ain't the Minor Leagues!

  5. This looks great and I will try it this coming weekend … question did you add any water in the pan during the smoke?

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