To make your holiday party even more spectacular, you need the perfect wine. Here is, the Million Dollar Chef, Walter Martino’s Top 20 Holiday appetizers, and guide to holiday wine pairings.

‘Tis the Season for… ROAST PORK – LECHÓN ASADO

How to throw a killer Cuban Pig Roast- The origins of the Caja China—basically, “Chinese box” in Spanish—and particularly how it made its way to Cuba from Asia, the basic method inverts traditional cooking structures by placing the coals on top of the box. This allows the pig to slow-roast in indirect heat.

PAIRING: Cubanisimo 2015 Pinot Gris

Ingredients

ROASTING A PIG

The pig, 60 to 70 pounds (feeds 75)

Olive oil

Salt

Mojo Marinade

1 quart of freshly squeezed sour orange juice

1 1/2 cup of fresh pureed garlic

1/2 cup of oregano

1/4 cup of ground cumin

1 to 1 1/2 cups of salt

The Mojo Sauce

2 cups of sour orange juice

1 cup of olive oil

1/2 cup of garlic

Half bunch of scallion greens

Salt to taste


How to Make It

STEP 1

Pre-Roasting

When you first get the pig, use a hammer and knife to separate the collar bone from the backbone. You want it to be spread eagle.

Put all the ingredients in a blender until pureed; it should be able to fit in the syringe that comes with your Caja China.

Inject the non-skin side of the pig with marinade—every square inch or two. NOTE: You don’t want to pierce the skin or put too much moisture in, or it’s not gonna crisp up. Let the pig rest in a large refrigerator or bagged in a bathtub filled with ice. Let it sit for 24 hours.

STEP 2

Roasting the Pig

Wake up early. When starting the Caja China-the temperature inside should be low—between 275 to 325 degrees. Set the pig inside, skin-side down.

Once you start roasting, you’ll need to change the coals about once an hour. The trick is to be aggressive about temperature control.

STEP 3

About six hours in (whenever you start to see the bones separating from the meat), flip the pig so the skin is facing the coals. Brush the skin olive oil and sprinkle with a few fistfuls of salt. Finish for an extra hour-and-a-half to two hours.

Remove from the Caja China.

STEP 4

The Mojo Sauce

Blend together. Slather on your dishes: yuca fries, pork.

Suggested Pairing: Cubanisimo 2015 Pinot Gris

Choose an aromatic, savory Pinot Noir. As the roast pork is quite sweet and delicate, avoid heavy reds like warm-climate Shiraz or Cabernet which may tend to taste out of balance with the meat.

 

Let’s get cooking. For now, I’d love to know —tag @ChefWMartino on social and use the hashtag #AllThingsWine so I can cheer you on and share your dishes.

About the author(s)

From the non-stop frenzy of New York Fashion Week to running Red Carpets to being named one of the youngest Communications Director for the University of Miami President Donna Shalala, and working in the Press Room for George W. Bush and John Kerry's Miami televised presidential debate, to creating National Digital Campaigns for Swarovski, to producing Lincoln Road and the City of Miami events, and running Miami's first E! News Live Stream, to managing the Global culinary brand for the "Million Dollar Chef", Celebrity chef Walter Martino, this is undeniable proof why LC is considered a pioneer in the Public Relations industry where she connects traditional PR with today's Influencer Marketing trends.