Pipo’s Pork| “Lechon”

Can you die from squirting pork juice in your eye? Is pork juice what it’s called?

What about going blind? Could I go blind? I just splattered my right eye with packaged pig water as I was dumping it into the slow cooker. . . .

Just wondering. I’ll let you know.

Currently – my eye sight is fine. And no signs yet of illness.

As I’m glancing down at my abdomen now, to judge the normalness of it, I am also looking at my really bright orange shirt that’s almost red.

And I’m also wondering – does anyone else also avoid wearing red shirts when they shop at Target?

Because usually I do.

I don’t want to be mistaken for an employee.

Although I’m pretty sure no one would mistake me as such, when I have three or four kids trailing along behind me and my cart is packed to the hilt with things we absolutely-need-but-I-happened-to-forget until I was wandering through the store.

So I don’t think anyone would mistake me at that point.

However, on my second round through the store when I am putting everything back on the shelf, they might – at that moment – consider that I might be a stock person.

Just sayin’.

So anyway, usually I avoid wearing red at Target, and usually I try not to spritz my looking balls with pork juice.

Good advice, and good pork.

Here’s the scoop.

I have a Cuban Mima, who happens to be married to a Cuban Pipo, and he makes this rockin’ pork.

He is a pork artisan. He marinates it for hours, then slow roasts it in the oven – and there’s really nothing that can compare.

But me – well, sometimes  I take shortcuts that can be disastrous (i.e. afore mentioned red clothing and raw pig juice) and sometimes they can be God-sends.

Disastrous: dinner from two nights ago that inspired comments like, “Let’s all agree to we’ll never serve anything that’s on this table again”.

Godsend: last night’s dinner that inspired comments like, “Mom, you went from zero (disaster dinner) to hero (tonight’s dinner) with this one!”

Godsend = Pipo’s pork in a slow cooker.

Pop it in there (wear some goggles). Season, and let it bubble away for hours.

Then fork-shred it, and serve it on rolls, tortillas, salad, pizza, all on its own –  whatevs. . . it’s so good, it just doesn’t matter.

This is not Pipo’s exact recipe. I used a different cut of meat, different cooking method, but the same flavors.

Like I said, Pipo prefers to pamper his pork, and people come knocking for his recipe.

I, on the other hand, can be a lazy dinner-maker for six that prefers to slam pork tenderloin in the slow-cooker, flinging raw-meat juice in my eye. Then I like to walk away and let it cook on its own for a few hours, coming back to shred it just before we all turn ravenous.

I’ve suspected for a while now that I somehow gleaned a little Cuban blood in my veins – I am so fond of the regional flavor. Either that, or I’ve just affected the love of their cuisine by osmosis.  Either way, my favorite way to eat this pork is on a Cuban roll with a squeeze of fresh lime juice – and had I had the forethought when I was shopping for the ingredients, I would have also bought a can of matchstick potatoes to sprinkle over the meat in the sandwich, because that’s how real Cubans do it.

Pipo’s Pork| “Lechon”


  • 1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, rubbed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 (10 ounce) bottle sour orange juice (if you can't find this, a good substitute is 1 part fresh lemon or lime juice to 2 parts fresh orange juice)
  • 1/2 cup dry white cooking wine
  • 5 whole peppercorns


Remove thin membrane from the outside of the pork tenderloin.

In a small bowl, whisk together garlic, oregano, cumin, salt, sour orange juice and white cooking wine.

Place pork in slow cooker, pour sour orange mixture over the top. Add peppercorns.

Cover, and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

When meat is fork-tender, remove and shred. Reserve cooking liquid for "gravy" or au jus.


Adapted from Pipo.



11 thoughts on “Pipo’s Pork| “Lechon”

  1. OMG. Really? REALLY? You do this to me now, when I’m stressed out and frazzled and looking at the month ahead and thinking, “is there no end in sight??” And then you post something that just makes me want to fly down to you, pop some Celia Cruz on the stereo (AZUcar!), fry some plantains, mix some mojitos, and chow some Pipo’s pork. Really? I fully expect to see this dish in August, missy.

  2. Looks fantastic! I definitely have been mistaken for a Target employee. I was 14 at most, and to be fair, I WAS wearing a red shirt and khakis. Yikes. I never wore khakis again.

    But still–14. Do people know we have child labor laws in this country?

  3. Aww! Thanks! Now he will be just as famous as Mima!!!! Now, if I could only get them to stop fighting over your caramel corn……….Love you!

    • Ha! That IS the dilemma, isn’t it? I have to find something else your dad likes just as much, but Mima doesn’t. . . . Then I can make them both at the same time!

  4. I had a long phase of dressing like a Target employee…I still love a good pair of khakis! If you keep posting recipes that must be attempted I don’t think I’ll ever get out of the kitchen! Chocolate cheesecake tasted great!!!

  5. I thought about this afterwords – I probably should clarify – I have no beef with Target employees, I just don’t want anyone approaching me and expecting me to know random stuff about the store! Yes, I had a khaki phase too. . . . I still have one pair that I keep around for special occasions – like any day in the winter that I don’t want to wear jeans. . . .

  6. you know, i JUST sat down at the computer from going crazy over cleaning up all the pork juice that was in my kitchen from hubby preparing ribs for tomorrow. i am totally grossed out at any kind of animal juices, pork is no.1 on my “grosses me out” list. so reading about your little accident made me cringe. who knows – having pork juice enter through your eye might make you grow pig ears or perhaps a little piggy tail you’ll be able to wiggle when you’re really happy! keep us posted! 😉

    as respects the thing about being mistaken for an employee: NEVER wear your keys on a lanyard around your neck! no matter what you wear, people will always think you are an employee, i’m dead serious about that. i’ve had jeans with a colorful, printed shirt on and folks will ask me where to find their isle of choice…

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