If you happen to be a strict practising Jew or Muslim, or if you happen not to eat pig flesh, fuh-ged-about going to Cuba. They smear ham all over their pork and sprinkle bacon on their cornflakes. However, on my two trips there, this over indulgence in what the Americans call “the other white meat”, presented no problems for me. It’s just the overall shiteness of the grub in general that irritated me, but I guess that’s what you get in pseudo communist dictatorships. And at least they can still produce food and feed their people, unlike other commie lands like North Korea.
Like many a tourist who finds themself on Cuban soil, I had already experienced many of the exceptionally amazing things they have brought to the world. Such as their outstanding music, the finest cigars on the planet and of course enough daiquiris and mojitos to keep the Castro Dynasty in power for centuries. I had also sampled on many occasion, a Cuban pulled pork sarnie before flying into Havana. I had many in San Fran, a couple of them in NY and one or two in Spain. And yet, I searched high and low to get my hands on one in Cuba and had no joy. This made me decide there and then, that the dish must have been invented on foreign soil by ex pat Cubans. It was either that, or the locals I had been asking just didn’t like the look of my gringo ass. Either way, Cuban pulled pork rolls are fucking deadly and they go down really well with a shitload of mojitos. Hit this link if you want to see how I make my mojitos. I insist on a wee drop of Angostura bitters at the very end and don’t like huge mint leaves all in my drink so I strain them out.
And here’s how you make the Cuban pork. Pretty darn good eatin’ and drinkin’ for the bank holiday in my not so humble opinion.
- 1 shoulder of pork with the rind removed. Take the bone out too if you want but I like to leave the little bugger in. FXB on Moore Street nearly always have pork shoulders in stock.
FOR THE DRY SPICE MIX:
- 3 tablespoons of sea salt and the same again in sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoon of garlic powder and the same again with mustard powder and brown sugar.
FOR THE SAUCE:
- 2 cloves of garlic chopped up
- 1.5 cups of vinegar, cider vinegar works best
- 1/2 cup of ketchup
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
- 1 teaspoon of salt
Heat your oven up to 150 degrees and pat your pork dry. Combine all the dry spice mix ingredients and rub them all over the meat, like a Baggot St. brasser.
Throw the pork onto a tray and leave it there for a good six hours or so. The consistency of the meat should be crispy on the outside and fairly flaky on the inside. The inner part of the meat should be at a temperature of 77 degrees, if you happen to be one of those folk who gets anal about these things.
Leave it to rest for about 15 minutes while you blitz all the ingredients for the sauce. After the meat’s rested, start pulling it all apart with a fork in each hand. The meat will be stringy and yet really tender. Put it all in a bowl and mix some sauce in with it to your own liking.
Pile it on to your bread of choice, a soft bap is nice. Get stuck into them with a geansaí load of mojitos to wash them all down.