Mojo Pork with Mandarin Salsa

A classic Cuban dish, Mojo Pork uses sour orange, oregano, and garlic in a marinade that results in flavorful, juicy meat. It’s a great dish for the wintertime, when we can take advantage of the abundance of citrus fruit from our orchards. In our version, we like to use a mixture of Paige mandarins and Bearss lime, which nicely nods to the flavors of sour orange. It’s not quite the same, but it’s delicious in its own right. Serve the pork in bowls with steamed quinoa, seasoned black beans, raw or cooked greens, a dollop of sour cream, and plenty of the sweet mandarin salsa. 


  • ½ cup Apricot Lane Farms Avocado Oil
  • 1 tablespoon mandarin orange zest (5 medium mandarins)
  • ½ cup fresh mandarin orange juice (about 5 medium mandarins)
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest (4 medium limes)
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice (about 4 medium limes)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 large cloves)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 5-inch chunks
  • 2 cups small-diced mandarin oranges (about 1 ½ pounds or 12 medium mandarins)
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion (about ¼ medium onion)
  • ½ cup finely diced red bell pepper (about ½ medium pepper)
  • 2 teaspoons finely diced jalapeno pepper, seeds and membrane removed (about ¼ large pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves (about 12 sprigs)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (about1 medium lime)
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 medium limes, cut into wedges
  • 16 sprigs fresh mint, thick stems removed and discarded, and roughly chopped


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the avocado oil, mandarin zest, mandarin juice, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, cumin, oregano, and mint. Set aside.
  2. Place the pork shoulder on a medium baking sheet. Generously season all sides of the meat with the salt and pepper. Place the pork in a reusable plastic bag or a large container with tall sides. Pour the marinade into the bag or container and rotate the pork so that all sides get covered in marinade. Seal the bag or cover the container and refrigerate for 6 to 24 hours, flipping the meat halfway through.
  3. Preheat the oven to 300℉ and position a rack in the middle. Remove the meat from the marinade and put it, fat side up, in a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Pour the marinade over the meat, allowing it to collect in the bottom of the skillet. Cover the meat with parchment paper, and then cover the whole pan with foil, sealing well. Place the skillet in the oven and roast for 1 hour. Remove the foil from the pan. Use a spoon to scoop up the pan juices and drizzle it over the pork. Secure the foil and continue cooking for about 1 ½ hours.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest piece of meat. It should read 165°F and the meat should be tender and easy to shred. If not, return the pan to the oven, and continue cooking until the meat reaches 165°F or the meat falls apart easily. Monitor the pan during the last hour of cooking, adding 1 cup water if it looks dry. This will prevent the juices from burning.
  5. Meanwhile, make the salsa: In a medium bowl, combine the mandarins, red onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Stir to combine.
  6. Remove the pork from the oven and shred the meat using 2 forks. Discard any sinew or grizzle. Transfer the meat to a serving platter. Serve with the mandarin salsa, lime wedges, and mint on the side.