Slow-Roasted Spanish Pork “Lechon Asado” for Cuban Sandwiches

I must confess: I need an intervention.

A pork intervention, because I just ate half this roast as I sliced it.

Simple but delicious, a testament to how good simple can be.

The raw marinade ingredients, when pureed, give off puffs of pungent cilantro and cumin. Your home is filled with these aromas as it cooks.

This, friends, is my Spanish Pork recipe.

I developed it with guidance from a Cuban friend (gracias, Abe) and over time tried different combinations to get it just right. And here it is. Use the resulting pork for Cuban sandwiches like I do, or just cut it into big slabs and add some rice and fried plantains!



Here’s the recipe!


Spanish-Style Roast Pork, Lechón Asado

2 1/2 pound pork butt or 4 pound picnic pork

For the marinade:

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro with stems (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice or lime juice

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Pulse the marinade ingredients until chunky.  Lightly salt the pork all over, then coat with all of the marinade.  Cover with foil and roast for 2 hours covered, plus one hour uncovered, or until roast is beginning to fall apart (more time will be needed for the bone-in picnic pork).

Remove from oven, recover with foil and let rest 10-30 minutes before slicing.

To make Cuban sandwiches you’ll need regular yellow mustard, Virginia ham, dill pickles, mayonnaise, Swiss cheese, butter and a loaf of Cuban bread (and the roast pork of course!). Assemble the sandwich and grill in butter in a pan until heated through and crispy, smashing it flat with a heavy lid (or book, or whatever you have), flipping once. Slice in half, then those halves in half again diagonally.