Cuban Rotisserie Pork Loin with Peppers and Onions Recipe
Pork loin is a fairly lean cut of meat that can dry out easily. We keep it juicy and tender by butterflying it, marinating it with a Cuban-style garlic and citrus sauce, then cooking it slowly on a rotisserie. The marinade is easily made in a blender with a combination of orange and lime juice instead of traditional Cuban sour oranges—no need to hunt down specialty ingredients. While the pork rotates on the spit, its drippings flavor red bell peppers and onions placed underneath the meat, to create a perfectly complementary side dish. To complete the meal, serve some black beans, sautéed plantains, or a green salad with avocados on the side. And if you have any leftover pork, use it up in a pressed Cuban sandwich.
Special equipment: This recipe was tested on an outdoor gas grill with a rotisserie attachment; it was not tested on an indoor rotisserie appliance.
You’ll need butcher’s twine to make this dish.
For the pork:
- 12 medium garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from about 1 medium orange)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 2 medium limes)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (4- to 4-1/2-pound) boneless pork loin
For the vegetables:
- 4 medium red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and halved
- 2 medium white onions, quartered
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Place all of the ingredients except the pork in a blender and blend until smooth; set aside.
- Have 6 (16-inch) lengths of butcher’s twine ready. To butterfly the pork, place the meat on a cutting board with one end pointing toward you. Slice lengthwise down the center, almost but not quite cutting through the pork, leaving about 3/4- to 1-inch thickness of meat intact.
- Open the pork up like a book and push on it to flatten.
- Starting on the left side, with the blade of the knife parallel to the cutting board and the blade facing left, slice down the length of the seam, maintaining the 3/4- to 1-inch thickness.
- Pull the meat open and press down to flatten. Continue cutting and flattening until the entire left half is 3/4- to 1-inch thickness. Rotate the pork and repeat on the other half.
- Flip the pork over so that it is cut-side down. Using your hands, rub half of the garlic mixture on the top surface of the pork. Flip the pork again and rub it with the remaining half of the garlic mixture.
- Starting on the right side, roll the pork into a tight cylinder. Tie it up crosswise with the twine pieces, spacing them about 1 1/2 inches apart. Trim off any excess twine. Transfer the pork loin to a baking sheet and cover it with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for 2 hours.
To cook the pork and vegetables:
- Remove the rotisserie center rod (spit) and fork prongs from an outdoor gas grill with a rotisserie attachment. Turn on the rotisserie burner, turn on the left and right grill burners to medium (leave the middle burner off), and let the grill heat to medium (about 350°F to 450°F). Meanwhile, load the pork onto the spit and prepare the vegetables.
- Slide 1 pronged fork onto the spit with the tines facing inward, setting it about 10 inches from the end of the spit, and tighten the fork halfway. Slide the spit through the center of the pork lengthwise and push the pork until it’s firmly embedded on the fork tines. Attach the other pronged fork with the tines facing inward and slide it down until it’s firmly embedded in the pork. If necessary, adjust the forks and pork so that they are centered on the spit. Tighten both forks into place; set aside.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the bell peppers and onions on the baking sheet, drizzle with the oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine; set aside.
- When the grill is ready, load the pointed end of the spit onto the rotisserie motor. Place the sheet of vegetables directly on the grill grates underneath the pork. Turn on the rotisserie motor, cover the grill, and cook, stirring the vegetables every 30 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the pork registers 145°F, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Turn off the rotisserie motor, rotisserie burner, and grill burners. Using potholders or kitchen towels, carefully remove the spit to a cutting board and loosen the forks. Remove the pork from the spit and remove the forks. Tent the pork loosely with aluminum foil and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. Remove the tray of vegetables from the grill and cover with aluminum foil.
- Cut and discard the twine from the pork. Cut the meat crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve with the vegetables.