Cuban Roast Pork with Mojo (Lechon Asado)

Traditionally, lechon refers to a whole pig that has been buried in the ground and roasted or hours and hours. Pork shoulder makes for a more manageable Sunday roast that fits in the oven and creates perfect chicharones, those crispy fat pieces that guests will literally fight over. Puerto Rico has a similar roast pork dish called pernil that uses sofrito instead of mojo to marinate the meat in.

Cuban Lechon Asado Cuban Roast Pork

Cuban Lechon Asado- Cuban Roast Pork

This Cuban roast pork dish is marinated in a flavorful garlic-citrus marinade and slow-roasted to juicy perfection. The crispy chicharrones (pork skin bites) are worthy of fighting over.
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Course: Brunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Caribbean, Cuba
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Marinate: 1 day
Total Time: 6 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 10
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Roasting pan
  • Food Processor, blender, or mortar & pestle
  • Aluminum foil
  • Instant read thermometer


  • 8-9 lb Pork shoulder, with fat cap (bone-in or boneless)

Mojo Criollo Marinade

  • cup Extra-virgin olive oil
  • tbsp Orange zest, fine
  • ½ cup Orange juice
  • ½ cup Lime juice
  • 7 cloves Garlic, minced
  • cup Cilantro, lightly chopped
  • ¼ cup Mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp Dried oregano
  • 1 tsp Ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Each: salt and black pepper

Garlic Paste

  • 1 head Garlic, peeled
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Coarse black pepper
  • 1 tsp Onion powder
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Ground cumin
  • ¼ cup Extra-virgin olive oil


Make Garlic Paste & Marinade

  • In a food processor, create a paste with all garlic paste ingredients and transfer to a small bowl. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a medium bowl.

Marinade Lechon

  • Place the pork on a cutting board and using a sharp knife, separate the thick pork skin from the pork enough for it to flap over. Don't cut it off completely. Place pork in a large resealable plastic bag. With the flap open, pierce the pork and cover with most of the marinade. Next, rub the pork all over with garlic paste and then close flap over roast. Transfer the roast and resealable plastic bag and move to the refrigerator to marinate for 12 to 24 hours, or up-to 2 days.

Roast Lechon

  • When done marinating, preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). One hour before cooking, remove pork from refrigerator. Save marinade and discard bag. Place pork, skin side-up, on a rack set in a roasting pan and pat the skin down with paper towels. The drier the skin is, the crispier it will be.
    Roast in oven for 30 minutes for every pound (e,g. an 8 lb roast takes 4 hours). Baste with pan juices. Cover with aluminum foil that's been sprayed on the inside with non-stick cooking spray. Roast until an instant read thermometer registers 175°F (75°C). Remove pan from oven and increase temperature to 450°F (275°C). Remove foil and drain liquid to a bowl. Return to oven, uncovered for another 30 minutes to crisp up the skin. Be careful not to burn. Move to a cutting board and cover loosely with foil for 25 minutes.

Serve Lechon Asado

  • Once rested either slice or shred meat and place on a platter. Microwave the reserved marinade and pour over the cut pork. Combine leftover mojo with 1 cup of the pan juices and serve separately in a bow. Serve and enjoy!


Calories: 521kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 148mg | Sodium: 636mg | Potassium: 825mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 53IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 3mg

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