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Carolina / Cuban Lechon Asado: BBQ Fusion Recipe  

International Barbecue: Cuban Que

If there’s one place where human beings can come together, it’s food. That doesn’t just apply to our physical gatherings, it can also apply to our cooking practices. One such place this happens is Miami, FL where a multitude of cultures come together to produce one of the finest examples of cross-cultural culinary beauty.  

Miami is known for its Latin flare and more specifically, it’s Cuban flare. Cubans love to cook pork. It just so happens that Pitmasters love to cook pork. Coincidence? I think not. Let’s take a look at what can be achieved by this merging of the multi-flavoral(my own word) minds.  


Carolina/ Cuban Lechon Asado Recipe 

 Cuban food is famous for using lime juice, garlic, and green olives in their cooking. Smokers from Carolina love to use vinegar. So, we’re going to combine these and a few other ingredients to create the ultimate Cuban Que fusion event.  

First, let’s combine our dry ingredients. You’ll need a quarter cup of brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of ground white pepper, 2 teaspoons of chopped cilantro, and half a teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper.  Mix these ingredients together in a bowl until they are evenly spread throughout.  

Next, let’s sweat our garlic, green olives, and lime juice in a skillet with some oil. Since we aren’t going to allow the temperature to get too high, olive oil is fine. Don’t let the skillet get past medium heat. This process varies a bit because your taste for these ingredients can differ from mine. As a general guide, I use a half a clove of freshly chopped garlic, 3 ounces of green olives, and the juice from 2 squeezed limes. 

Ideally, we want to use about 4-6 ounces of oil in the pan because we don’t want to overdo it. Finally, make sure to use a medium or small pan so that the oil can cover as much surface area of the garlic and olives as possible. You may even consider dicing the olives to further facilitate this.  

 Next, let the sauté pan cool to a very low heat and add 2 cups of apple cider vinegar to the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly. The final step of the sauce is to add the contents of the sauté pan to the spice and vinegar mixture. Remember that oil and vinegar don’t mix very well, so the best way to get the flavor profile of both is to put the sauce on something that will either absorb or receive both well. That’s where the pork comes in.  

For the pork, we are going to do a simple smoke. Use the same dry ingredients that you did before and create a rub. You’ll need 2 tbsp of salt, 2 tbsp of brown sugar, 1 tbsp of ground cayenne pepper, 1 tbsp of white pepper, and 2 tbsp of garlic powder. Mix well, and apply to the pork.  


If you are feeding a whole crowd, a whole hog is appropriate. But, if you’ve got a smaller crew, go with a Boston butt.

For Whole Hog: Get your smoker ready to smoke for 17 to 20 hours. Your pit will need to be at a temp of 215 – 220 degrees.

For 6-8 lb Boston Butt: Be prepared for smoking 10-12 hours at 215-220 degrees.

Be sure to have enough coal and wood to last through the duration of the cook.

A good wood choice for this is a fruit wood. Since we’re using apple cider vinegar already, apple wood is an excellent choice. Additionally, some Pitmasters like to use hickory or oak for pork along with the apple wood. The choice is up to you.   

Finally, shake or whisk the sauce well for superior combination and add to the smoked pork. I personally like to shred the pork so I can get some sauce on every single morsel. Prepare for olfactory and gustatory bliss. Enjoy! 

By: Joshua Rooks


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