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Home Cooking Show

March 1, 2018

There are all kinds of perks and perils about being able to work a flexible schedule from home. Some days I love being able to work from the bed in the clothes I slept in. Other days I miss having an office, a commute, and coworkers.

One of the best parts of this arrangement is being able to cook my own lunches. Frankly, it frees me up to do a lot of cooking projects during the day.

Which isn’t to say that some of my cooking isn’t done at night. In fact, some of it is done quite late at night. Like last night for example, when I didn’t finish my lechon preparation until 2am. The recipe came from Raf, and the pork leg is marinating right now.

This was super late. Even for me. There was one time sensitive work thing I had to take care of before I could begin. Work still takes priority over cooking, even with a flexible schedule. Which also means, I can’t stay home and roast this joint all day today. I won’t be able to start it until mid afternoon.

That means, this incredibly aromatic dish is going to fill the house with its tempting scents, but won’t be ready in time for dinner. Fortunately, I have a plan.

Most of the work last night went into making the mojo.

Raf’s recipe involves one cup of orange juice, a half cup of lime juice, a teaspoon of oregano, a cup of thinly sliced onion, two tablespoons of salt, ground pepper, and a cup and a half of olive oil. But because my pork leg is so large, I tripled it.

Now I’ve got a lot of mojo.

Typically, this is made with something called sour orange juice. But if you don’t have access to good sour orange, I’m told that combining orange and lime juices in the above proportion are the next best thing.

The problem with a large, slow cooked roast is that not only will it take a lot of time, but since I’ve never made the dish before, I have no real sense of how long it’s going to take. My hunch is longer than I expect.

On cooking shows, they used to have a finished version of the dish ready to serve just as soon as the uncooked food went into the oven.

So I’m going to do something similar. While I may not have slow cooked lechon on hand, I do have pulled pork which can serve as my canvas. What I’ll do tonight is reheat that with some of the extra mojo. I’ll also reheat a batch of cuban black beans, and with some mojo on the side, and maybe a couple wedges of lime, the smell of roasting pork in the air won’t be as tormenting as it would be otherwise. Pulled pork is no match for lechon.

However, I’ve never made lechon before. So it’s very possible that tonight’s shortcut dinner could turn out even better than this ridiculous project. For some reason I thought it made perfect sense to buy a whole pork leg for my family for four, without thinking through the calendar and finding a time when I might cook the damn thing.

But that’s how it goes. Live and learn. And sometimes, try to pretend you’re on TV.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 1, 2018 11:10 am

    Instant Pot is great for making lechon. Take it off the bone, but leave the bone in the pot to flavor it.

    • March 1, 2018 12:44 pm

      Good to know. But there ins’t an instant pot big enough for this leg. Even if I took it off the bone. It barely fits in my largest roasting pan.

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