Political differences aside, Cuba is a fantastic place to visit. Especially if you’re a foody. With this Cuban BBQ pork recipe, you’ll swear you’re right there amongst it!
This January marks the 57th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution. The Cuban Revolution saw Fidel Castro, his brother Raul and Che Guevara overthrow a corrupt government and install their own, which is still in place today. With this Cuban BBQ pork recipe, green beans with smoked ham and a mango salsa, you too will be saying ‘Viva la Revolucion’!
A nice little piece of pork neck…
I went for pork neck from Grobnik’s over loin as the neck is a lot cheaper and I wanted something with a little fat to it. If I were going to grill it, a loin would have been better, but I wanted to get some smoke on this bad boy. Before I could do that though, I had to prepare the marinade.
In a large zip lock bag I combined all of the ingredients for this Cuban BBQ pork recipe: 4 TBS each of orange and grapefruit juice, the juice of half a lemon, 2 TBS of corriander, 1 TBS of minced garlic, 1 tsp each of cumin, oregano, red pepper flakes and powdered smoked chili, and a half tsp each of salt and freshly cracked black pepper. I put the pork neck in the bag, gave it a good shake and put it in the fridge to marinade for 2 hours. One hour to overnight is great.
Seriously, you HAVE to do a smoked ham!
The first side dish to accompany our Cuban BBQ pork recipe, is the green beans with smoked ham. First, boil 2 cups of trimmed beans for 5 minutes, then drain them. At the same time, or shortly thereafter, in a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, cook up 1/2 a finely chopped white onion, a TBS of garlic and 1/2 a cup of diced smoked ham. Cook it until the onion is translucent, add the beans to the onion mix, and add 2 TBS of fresh lime juice, and a 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper. The hardest part is waiting until the meal is finished before eating these amazing beans!
A fruit salsa? Yes please!
The mango salsa is a breeze. Simply combine the a whole mango, 2 whole bananas and a drained 440g tin of pineapple pieces. Add 2 TBS each of fresh orange and lime juice and a finely chopped and seeded chilli and gently toss to combine.
Just a quick sear…
And then it’s smokin’ time!
To cook my pork I decided to give it a regular sear (as oppose to a reverse sear). First I put it directly over the coals to get some colour on all sides and then set it up for some indirect cooking. I did a ‘hot smoke’ this time. I kept my trusty $20 Gumtree Weber at 300F (150C) using apple chunks for smoke. Once my pork hit an internal temperature of 150F (65C) I wrapped it in foil and let it rest for 15 minutes.
The finished product…
Damn, that is sexy!
The pork was just amazing. It had some delicious crunchy char on the outside and sweet and juicy on the inside. You could really taste the chili playing off the back of the sweet juices with the lemon juice just balancing things out. I can’t even describe the aroma. It just filled my nostrils and sent me to a happy place.
For those of you who love your pork, this will be a dream for you. The Cuban spiced pork roast along with the smoked ham is just incredible. The mango salad is a cheeky little palette cleanser for when you need to get your mouth ready for some more pork!
Going to give this recipe a crack? I’d love to hear how you go with it. Leave a comment below.