Hola! Welcome to Cuba day. It was pretty cool that when the girls found Cuba on the globe, they were surprised to see Haiti, Grenada, and the Dominican Republic were very close to the edge of the United States. It's fun to watch them make the connections in their heads.

Anyway, for dinner tonight we had Habana Libra Pork Roast and Papas Asadas.

To make Habana Libra Pork Roast, you need:
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 large onions, halved crosswise and slivered
  • one boneless pork loin (about 3-1/2 pounds)
  • 3 cloves garlic, slivered
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and slivered
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup plus one Tbsp (lightly packed) dark brown sugar
  • one cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dark Jamaican rum
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions cook, stirring, until wilted, about 15 minutes.

Place the onion in the bottom of the shallow roasting pan. Cut deep slits in the pork loin with the tip of a small sharp knife and insert the garlic and ginger slivers. Mix the cloves, cinnamon, and pepper together and rub it all over the pork. Place the pork loin on top the onions.

Drizzle the top of the pork with the honey, then sprinkle with the brown sugar. Combine the chicken broth, vinegar, and rum and pour this over the onions in the bottom of the pan.

Roast until cooked through (about 1-1/2 hrs.), basting frequently and moving the onions around in the liquid.

Remove the pork to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 15 minutes.

While the pork is resting, place the onion & sauce in a saucepan and heat over low heat.
To serve, thinly sliced the pork and arrange on a platter. Top with the onion sauce.

To make the Papas Asadas (roasted potatoes), you need:
  • 6 medium sized potatoes, cut into medium pieces
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 3 cloves garlic - crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. ground thyme
  • Fresh Rosemary (I didn't have any so I left this out)
  • Salt (I added about 1/2 tsp)
  • Coarse ground pepper (I added about 1/2 tsp)
Since I cooked these at the same time as the pork roast, the oven didn't need preheating. If you are cooking it separately, you'll need to preheat to 350 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl (or a quart/gallon sized bag). Add the potatoes and mix until potatoes are covered in seasoning.

Put onto a baking sheet and roast for about 40 minutes, stirring half way through the cooking time. After stirring, (when the roast came out of the oven), I raised the temp to 425 for the last 20 minutes. When the potatoes are golden brown and the outside is slightly crisp, they are done.

You can find the original recipes for the Habana Libra Pork Roast here, and the Papas Asadas here.

The Verdict: The pork roast was good. I think it probably smelled better than it tasted but it was, in Boo's words, "DELICIOUS!" You know when your child asks for more pork roast, it's a keeper recipe! Boo did not like the potatoes very much, but once she took off the skin, she didn't mind them too much. I found the potatoes were a nice combination for the various flavors in the pork.
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