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Traditionally made from bitter oranges, olive oil, and garlic, mojo is a classic Cuban sauce that is both bright and savory. Here mojo starts as a marinade for a slow-cooked pork shoulder and transforms into a cooking liquid that becomes the base for the savory, tangy, creamy gravy. Bitter oranges, also called sour oranges, are typically used in mojo, but if you can’t find them, feel free to use equal parts orange juice and lime juice as a substitute. If the pork shoulder doesn’t fit in your Dutch oven, you can use a roasting pan and cover it tightly with foil.

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Ingredients

6–8 servings

Pork

1 7–8-lb. skinless bone-in pork shoulder (Boston butt or picnic)

4 Tbsp. Diamond Crystal or 2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. Morton kosher salt

2 Tbsp. dried oregano

2 Tbsp. freshly ground pepper

2 Tbsp. garlic powder

2 Tbsp. ground cumin

Marinade

1 large bunch cilantro, leaves and stems coarsely chopped

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup fresh bitter orange juice (from 5–7) or ½ cup fresh orange juice plus ½ cup fresh lime juice

¼ cup fresh lime juice

2 Tbsp. Diamond Crystal or 1 Tbsp. plus ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt

Gravy and assembly

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium shallots, thinly sliced

8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 bay leaf

2 Tbsp. whole grain or Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. ground coriander

1 Tbsp. ground cumin

½ cup fresh bitter orange juice (from 2–3) or ¼ cup fresh orange juice plus ¼ cup fresh lime juice

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

½ cup heavy cream

½ cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Preparation

  1. Pork

    Step 1

    Pat one 7–8-lb. skinless bone-in pork shoulder (Boston butt or picnic) dry with paper towels and place fat side up in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot. Mix 4 Tbsp. Diamond Crystal or 2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. Morton kosher salt, 2 Tbsp. dried oregano, 2 Tbsp. freshly ground pepper, 2 Tbsp. garlic powder, and 2 Tbsp. ground cumin in a small bowl to combine. Rub pork all over with spice mixture.

  2. Marinade

    Step 2

    Purée 1 large bunch cilantro, leaves and stems coarsely chopped, 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1 cup fresh bitter orange juice (from 5–7), ¼ cup fresh lime juice, and 2 Tbsp. Diamond Crystal or 1 Tbsp. plus ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt in a blender until smooth. Pour marinade over pork. Cover and let sit at room temperature at least 1½ hours or, preferably, chill up to 12 hours. If chilling, let sit at room temperature 30 minutes before cooking.

    Step 3

    Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 250°. Cover pot with lid or foil (crimped tightly). Transfer to oven and bake pork until fork-tender, 5–7 hours. Uncover pot and increase oven temperature to 350°. Roast until pork is well browned and flesh shreds easily with a fork, 30–45 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let rest at least 30 minutes.

  3. Gravy and assembly

    Step 4

    While the pork is resting, stir drippings in pot and measure out 1 cup. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl; set aside.

    Step 5

    Heat 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Cook 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced, and 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1 bay leaf, 2 Tbsp. whole grain or Dijon mustard, 1 Tbsp. ground coriander, and 1 Tbsp. ground cumin. Pour in ½ cup fresh bitter orange juice (from 2–3) and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits stuck to bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring often, until liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth and reserved drippings and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, 7–10 minutes.

    Step 6

    Stir ½ cup heavy cream into gravy and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until gravy is thick enough to coat a spoon, 10–15 minutes. Stir in ½ cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces. Taste and season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper if needed.

    Step 7

    Serve pork with gravy alongside.


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