Not being able to surf everyday for a month was pure torture for a computer addict like myself… but only at the beginning. Once I got over my PC withdrawal syndrome, I started getting A LIFE. Yes, you heard me right. One of the things I have learnt from this is that I was way too addicted to the Internet than I was willing to acknowledge. Internet is good and helpful but as with everything, it has to be used with moderation, or it’ll eat your life before you know it. If you have a family, the first in line is your precious little children, then your couple-hood. And yes, sadly Little One was in that front line. Don’t get me wrong. I do spent time with her but not as much as I thought I did. After this incident, Pierre & I agreed that whenever Little One is at home and awake, my computer will be switched off.
As some of you know from my previous post, I joined a group of expatriate ladies for a weekly chit-chat exchanging languages and cultural differences etc. It’s from this group that I met Corinne who formed a small group of ladies passionate about cooking to meet once a month to cook. Each takes turn to cook something of their home cuisine at their place. And so today we bring you all the way to Cuba. Why Cuba? Two months ago, we met up at Robin’s house. She is from New Orleans and it happened that her Cuban-born mom-in-law came for a visit. She taught all of us that day how to make Cuban Pork Roast. Robin’s mom-in-law talked a little bit about her growing up in Cuba and how she managed to flee her country just before Castro took over the country and settled down in her new home at New Orleans. I could see that after all these years, talking about the past still pains her but she was happy to share her personal experience with us. We had a wonderful time talking and exchanging cultural habits, mannerism, upbringing, etc. It made me wish to have a chance to talk freely about the past with my grandparents, to know who were their parents, how and where did they grew up from, how they meet each other etc. Sadly they aren’t here any more to answer any questions that I have in my heart. So dear readers, if your grandparents are still around today, seize the opportunity and get to know them better, for once they are gone, the secrets, the past history goes with them.
Cuban Roast Pork & Cuban Black Beans (Frijoles Negros)
- 2 kg pork filet or pork roast
- juice of 2 lemons
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 onions (chopped)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- pinch of ground cumin (generous pinch)
- a bit of olive oil
- salt & pepper
Black Beans (Frijoles Negros)
- 500 g dried black beans (soaked overnight)
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 3 – 4 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 1 green bell pepper (chopped)
- 4 dried bay leaves
- 3 – 4 tbsp red/white wine
- generous pinch of ground cumin
- salt & pepper
- In a big zip-lock bag, mix the marinate: lemon juice, apple cidre vinegar, chopped onions, a bit of olive oil, season with salt & pepper and a pinch of ground cumin together.
- Place pork in it and let it marinate over night in refrigerator for 12 to 14 hours, turning the bag over occasionally. This is to make sure it gets marinated evenly. Take out the meat from the refrigerator an hour or so before roasting it, allowing it to come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F – gas mark 2).
- Place the marinated pork in a roasting pan, pour the marinade over it and cover it with aluminum foil or put it in a crock pot.
- Roast it for about 3 hours, basting the roast with its juice every now and then. If juice dries out a bit, pour some wine or water and continue to bast the roast with it. Do not let the roast dries out.
- Uncover the roast a few minutes before it’s done to let it get a bit brown on top.
- Once the roast is done, remove it from oven. Let it rest covered with an aluminum foil for 10-15 minutes before serving.
- Serve the pork slices with a bit of pan juice on top it with rice, pan-fried plantain & Cuban black beans.
Black Beans (Frijoles Negros)
- Rinse the beans well. Soak it overnight covered with about 2 inches of water above the beans.
- The next day, cook the beans in its water. Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer covered for about 2 hours or until beans are just tender or cooked. Add more WARM water to the pot if necessary. Never add cold water.
- Remove some of water that the beans cooked in, leaving about 2 inches of the liquid above the beans.
- Now starts preparing the sofrito: sauté chopped onions, crushed garlic and chopped green bell pepper together in a pan with some olive oil until fragrant.
- Sprinkle a generous pinch of ground cumin (more if you like) and season the sofrito with salt & pepper.
- Add the sofrito to the beans together with the bay leaves and red/white wine. Mash/crush the beans a little bit with a potato masher.
- Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer partially covered for 1 or 2 hour or until the beans are tender and the liquid has thickened. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Reheat before serving it with rice if you cook it in advance.
I was pleasantly surprised at the first bite of the roast. The pork was so tender, succulent and very aromatic. Each bite just got me drooling for more. The beans were delicious and fragrant and the fried banana a nice sweet addition that makes the whole thing fruity and exotic.
The Black Beans (Frijoles Negros) takes some time to cook so make this first before the roast.