In many countries all over the world, the pig takes centre stage at the dinner table during the Christmas and New Year holiday season. Different cuts of pork, such as spiral-cut ham, pork roast and even the whole pig, is served depending on the country. In many Latin countries the pork leg is one cut of pork commonly served during the holiday season. Cuba, for example serves pork leg with beans, plantains and rice. Baking the pork leg in the oven takes time, but is fairly simple to do.
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Things you need
- Roasting pan
- Additional seasonings
- 1 bone-in whole pork leg, 2.72kg. to 3.18kg.
- Olive oil
- Cling film
Place the pork leg in a roasting pan and pierce the pork leg deeply in several different spots with a sharp knife.
Combine salt, pepper and other seasonings of your choice in a bowl, according to your recipe and flavour preference. Depending on the country, some cultures call for specific seasonings for the pork leg, however, such as Cuba, where crushed garlic, adobe seasoning, and orange and lime juice are combined to create a marinade.
Brush the surface of the pork leg with olive oil, then spread the seasoning mixture generously over the surface, rubbing it into the slits you made into the pork, or spread the marinade over the pork if you are using one.
Cover the pork leg with cling film and place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight, or for at least four hours.
Preheat the oven to 204 degrees Celsius, and take the pork out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Bake the pork leg in the oven for about 3 1/2 hours until the surface of the meat is very crisp, a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the leg reads at least 71.1 degrees Celsius and the juices run clear. You may choose to baste the pork with its own juices or any remaining marinade you may have about every 30 minutes, although the surface will not be as crisp.
Remove the pork from the oven and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.
Tips and warnings
- For a Cuban-style pork leg, make an adobe seasoning mix commonly used in Latin cooking by combining 1 tbsp each of lemon pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, parsley, salt and 1/2 tbsp of ground cumin. To make a marinade for the pork leg, combine this mixture with the 2 cups of orange juice and the juice of four limes, along with 1 cup of mojo sauce.
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