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Lechon Asado con Mojo (Cuban Grilled Pork with Mojo)

Gabriella Herman

Servings: 10

This is the garlicky and grand centerpiece of the Cuban celebration. The pork needs at least 8 hours to marinate in the mojo and about that long to cook, but the results—unbelievably tender meat and crisp, crackly skin—are worth the wait.


For the mojo

  • 50 peeled cloves garlic
  • 5/8 oz. kosher salt (1-1/2 Tbs. Diamond Crystal or 1 Tbs. Morton)
  • 1 Tbs. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. fresh orange juice (from 1 medium)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 large)
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice (from 1 small)

For the pork

  • 1 6- to 8-lb. bone-in, skin-on pork shoulder
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1-1/2 lemons)
  • 3 large lemons, cut into wedges
  • Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 430
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 260
  • Fat (g): 29
  • Saturated Fat (g): 7
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 17
  • Cholesterol (mg): 110
  • Sodium (mg): 1400
  • Carbohydrates (g): 10
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 32


Make the mojo

  • Combine the garlic, salt, pepper, and oregano in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl and whisk in the juices. Reserve 1/2 cup of the mojo and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Marinate and grill the pork

  • Use a paring knife to make 20 deep slits all over the pork. Using your fingers, push the remaining mojo into the slits. Wrap the pork well in plastic wrap, place skin side up on a rimmed baking sheet or platter, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
  • Let the pork sit at room temperature for 1 hour before cooking. Meanwhile, set up a charcoal or gas grill for indirect cooking between 325°F and 350°F; if using a charcoal grill, bank the lit, ashed-over coals to one side of the grill. Cover the grill, and adjust the vents as needed to reach the temperature range. For a gas grill, cover the grill, turn off one or more of the burners, and adjust the active burner(s) to reach the temperature range.
  • Pat the pork skin dry with paper towels. Put the pork, skin side up, on the cooler part of the grill and cook, rotating (but not flipping) every couple of hours, until the skin is crisp and an instant-read thermometer registers 190°F to 200°F in the center of the pork, 6 to 8 hours.
  • Toward the end of the pork’s cooking, combine the reserved 1/2 cup mojo, the onion, olive oil, and lemon juice in a 2-quart saucepan. Cook, stirring often, over medium-low heat, until the onion softens and the flavors meld, about 8 minutes. (The mojo can sit at room temperature for a few hours.)

Serve the pork

  • Transfer the pork to a cutting board. Remove the skin. Tent just the pork with foil and let sit for up to an hour before serving. Scrape off and discard the soft fat underneath the skin, then cut the crispy part (the crackling) into bite-size pieces. Transfer to a small platter, add a few lemon wedges, and serve the chicharrones (cracklings) as an appetizer.
  • Meanwhile, use your hands to break the meat into chunks and transfer to a large bowl. Pour about 1/3 cup of the mojo over it and toss to coat. Transfer to a large platter along with the remaining lemon wedges. Sprinkle with the sea salt and serve, passing the remaining mojo around the table with it.

Make Ahead Tips

Once prepared with the mojo, the pork can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours before grilling.


Rate or Review

Reviews (8 reviews)

  • chitownguy | 05/23/2020

    I just made this and it is fabulous. Like Krispie the shoulder from Costco didn't have skin but it turned out just fine. I made a double batch of the Mojo and I'm glad I did, now we have plenty for the left over pork. The Mojo tasted very lemony by itself but it blended perfectly with the roasted pork. A definite winner

  • Krispie | 09/02/2019

    I made this with a boneless, skinless pork shoulder from Costco. It was super easy and absolutely wonderful. We did it on a gas grill (we don’t normally use a gas grill so I was a little nervous) and it cooked in six hours perfectly. There were plenty of cracklings from the fat - no need to find one with skin. We had plenty of mojo with the recipe as written. We will definately make again soon!

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