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Lechon Asado – Cuban Roast Pork

Lechon Asado – Cuban Roast Pork






    6-7 hours


    Indirect Grilling


    Serves 4-6

You have probably seen many different ways to prepare pork butt, but this one is special.  Being that we live in the Miami area, one of the most common recipes is to make Cuban Roast Pork aka Lechon Asado.  It is nothing more than the pork butt, marinated overnight in a citrus and herb marinade called MOJO.

You can buy premade MOJO in most grocery stores, but it is so easy and inexpensive to make that it doesn’t really pay to buy a bottled MOJO.  Just follow our simple recipe and see for yourself just how simple it is to do.  A few herbs, some sour orange juice and you are ready to start flavoring your meat.

This is no ordinary pulled pork

For this recipe, we veered from the traditional method of making pulled pork, which is to smoke, wrap in foil, rest, shred and serve.  Although the basic method is the same, the method he uses here is sure to impart lots more flavor into the meat without losing a single drop of the deliciousness that is Lechon Asado.  The herbs and the acids in the marinade really penetrate the meat well providing for a mouthful of deliciousness with every fork full.

The addition of smoke

The one big departure from the norm is that we added a kiss of smoke to this already flavorful dish.  What we did not do is we did not add any additional smoking wood for this cook.  The normal burning of our all-natural lump charcoal provided just the right amount of BBQ flavor.  We were not looking for smoked meat, just that hint of smoke to really elevate this dish to the next level.  Guess what, it worked!

The Dutch Oven Method

By cooking this in the Clay Dutch Oven, it gives many advantages over a foil wrap.  First, it doesn’t make a giant mess in your grill from all of the drippings.  The best part is that all of those drippings become a part of the meal.  They combine in beautifully with the marinade to make the final serving sauce.  The next best part is that instead of pulling the meat off of the grill and wrapping, simply place the lid on the Clay Dutch Oven and let it finish cooking.  That’s it!  Thankfully, these pots clean up very easily.  Nobody likes having to stand there and scrub pots forever!

Enjoy the Cuban goodness

Once you have finished preparing this Cuban favorite, there are many ways to enjoy your Cuban Roast Pork.  You could simply eat it as is.  Just add some of the cooked marinade and some of those onions and your taste buds will be thanking you.  Another way to kick it up a notch or two is to heat a fry pan and add the pork into the hot pan to crisp the pork a bit.  This caramelizes the natural sugars in the meat and really adds a great umami punch. 

Use this delicious meat in tacos or even quesadillas for a special treat and lastly, my favorite….The Cuban Sandwich.  That’s right, load this onto a Cuban bread with some Swiss Cheese, sliced ham, yellow mustard and sliced pickles and you are in for a serious tasty treat.  Finish it off in a panini press to crisp the outside of the bread and you won’t want to stop eating these special sammiches from our friends 90 miles south of Key West.

Amigos, that is all that we have for you today.  I hope that you will take the time to make this for yourself.  You will not be sorry.  It is a special meal that is sure to make its way into your rotation.  Remember to tag us in your social media posts, we would love to see what you are making.  Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our channel and remember to get out and grill!  We look forward to seeing you the next time on The FOGO Life. 

Recipe Video


  1. Place the garlic in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the sour orange juice, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, and Tina Cannon Rub.  Pulse to combine.  Add the Sliced onions.
  2. Pat the pork dry and score the fat cap in a diamond pattern all the way down to the meat. Place the pork in a container and pour ½ of the marinade and onions over the meat.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Fill your grill with FOGO Premium Charcoal and prepare for indirect cooking at 275°.
  4. Remove the pork from the marinade and place it in the Clay Dutch Oven. Do not cover.  Place the Meater Thermometer so the tip is in the center of the meat.  Pour ½ of the marinade and onions over the pork.  Place the Clay Dutch Oven on the grill and close the dome.  Cook until the meat reaches 165-170°.
  5. Once the meat has reached that temperature, place the lid to the Dutch Oven over the pork and seal the pot. Continue cooking until the internal temp hits 203°.  Remove from the heat and rest for a minimum of one hour.
  6. While the meat is resting, place the carbon steel fry pan over medium high heat. Add the rest of the MOJO marinade and onions to the pan.  Bring it to a boil and continue to cook for 5-10 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken.  Remove from the heat.
  7. Once the meat has rested, shred the pork. To serve, spoon some of the remaining marinade and onions over the pork.

Tips and Tricks for Perfecting Your Lechon Asado (Cuban Roast Pork)

1. Mastering the Marinade:

  • Fresh is best: While premade MOJO can be convenient, making your own ensures freshness and allows you to adjust the flavors to your liking.
  • Marinate overnight: To deeply infuse the pork with the MOJO's flavors, allow the meat to marinate for at least 12-24 hours, turning it once to ensure even coverage.

2. Scoring the Fat:

  • Deep scoring: Cut deep into the fat cap in a diamond pattern without slicing into the meat itself. This increases the surface area for the marinade to penetrate and helps the fat render more effectively.

3. The Right Cooking Temperature:

  • Low and slow: Maintain a consistent low temperature (around 275°) for even cooking and to ensure the pork is tender and moist.
  • Avoid opening the grill: Each time you open the lid, heat escapes. Keep it closed to maintain a steady temperature.

4. Utilizing the Clay Dutch Oven:

  • Benefits of clay: Clay Dutch ovens distribute heat evenly and retain moisture well, making them ideal for slow-cooked dishes like Lechon Asado.
  • Sealing flavors: Using the Dutch oven captures all the juices and marinade, enhancing the meat's flavor and providing a base for a delicious sauce.

5. Monitoring the Meat:

  • Use a reliable thermometer: A good quality meat thermometer ensures you cook the pork to the perfect internal temperature without overcooking.
  • The magic numbers: Cook the pork until it reaches an internal temperature of 165-170°, then seal it with the lid and continue until it hits 203° for perfect tenderness.

6. Making the Sauce:

  • Reduce for richness: Simmer the leftover MOJO and onions to reduce and thicken the sauce, concentrating the flavors.
  • Adjust seasoning: Taste your sauce as it simmers, adjusting salt or acidity as needed to balance the flavors.

7. Serving Suggestions:

  • Rest before shredding: Let the meat rest after cooking to redistribute the juices, ensuring it stays moist and tender when shredded.
  • Crisp it up: For added texture, briefly fry the shredded pork before serving to introduce a pleasant contrast to the succulent meat.

8. Enjoying Your Lechon Asado:

  • As a main: Serve with traditional sides like black beans and rice or fried plantains.
  • In sandwiches: Use the shredded pork in a Cuban sandwich for a delicious meal or snack.
  • Get creative: Incorporate the pork into tacos, quesadillas, or even atop a salad for varied dining experiences.

By following these tips, your Lechon Asado will not only be a flavorful journey but also a testament to your culinary skills, delivering a dish that's sure to impress and delight.


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