PUERCO EN NARANJA (Cuban roast pork loin with orange juice and oregano, for six)

a 3 pound, blade end pork loin roast or a boneless Boston butt pork roast

4 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

peel of 1 orange

peel of 1 lime

½ cup fresh orange juice

¼ cup fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter


1.  Using a large, heavy knife, mash garlic to a paste with oregano, salt and pepper.  Rub mixture all over pork.  Put pork in a resealable plastic bag or place in a glass or ceramic dish.  Stir together juices and 1 tablespoon olive oil and pour over pork.  Seal bag, pressing out as much air as possible so that marinade coats pork.  If you are using a dish, turn pork to coat and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Marinate pork, refrigerated, turning occasionally, for at least 2 hours, and up to 24 hours.

2.  Put a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 400*.

3.  Lift pork from the marinade, reserving marinade, and pat dry.  Heat butter and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy, ovenproof casserole just large enough to hold the meat.  When fat is almost smoking, brown the pork on all sides.  This will take about 10 minutes.  Remove pork to a side dish.

4.  Pour all but 2 spoonsful of fat out of the casserole.  (If the fat has burned, discard it all and add another 2 tablespoons oil).  Return the pork to the casserole and pour the reserved marinade around it.  Add the orange and lime peels.  Cover the casserole, heat it until the pork is sizzling, then place it in the lower third of the preheated oven.  Immediately turn the heat down to 325* and roast for 2 hours, until a meat thermometer reads 180*.  Baste the roast 2 or 3 times during the cooking with the pan juices and regulate the heat so that the roast cooks slowly and evenly.

5.  After pork has been removed from the casserole, bring the cooking juices to a simmer, boil until they are reduced by half, 5 to 10 minutes, and strain into a warm gravy boat.   Slice pork and serve with sauce.  Any leftovers can be used for Cuban sandwiches.

adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook

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