All-you-can-eat roast pork from the mystical Chinese box
Cuba Libre in Old City is introducing an all-you-can-eat pig roast dinner cooked in a “caja china” (that's Spanish for “Chinese box”) and we got a chance to taste it first.
“In Cuba, it is common to use the word “china” to refer to anything that is mystical, exotic or unusual,” said Chef Guillermo Pernot. “This roasting box is exactly that.”
The chef uses a natural pig from Leidy’s farm in Lancaster, marinates it in a mojo of orange and lime juice, cumin, oregano, garlic, olive oil and salt. He injects the pork with the mojo, he rubs it with Cuban seasoning and lets it sit for two days.
“We fired up the ‘caja china’ this morning, we covered it with coals, and for the last eight hours the pork has been sitting there roasting,” said Pernot. “We open the pork like butterfly, with the skin down so it collects all the fat, then we flip it, we add more coals, cut the skin and all of the sudden all that fat comes out and starts frying and makes chicharrones.”
One more hour and the pork is taken out and brought to a carving station in the restaurant’s dining room. Then it’s served with rice and black beans, sour orange mojo and chimichurri on the side, house salad with vinaigrette, and grilled bread with mango butter on the side.
Chef Pernot will be firing up the ‘caja china’ and offering the all-you-can-eat pig roast dinner every Monday during summer beginning June 8 for $25 per person and $5 off sangria pitchers.