Caribbean Roast Pork From Toni Tipton-Martin

June 16, 2020
11 Ratings
Photo by Jerrelle Guy
  • Prep time 40 minutes
  • Cook time 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

"The power behind the dish Arturo Schomburg called 'West Indies pork' is the spice-blending prowess of cooks in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica. This roast calls on beloved island flavors like ginger, allspice, and rum and was influenced by recipes from both photographer/cookbook author John Pinderhughes and superstar singer/cookbook author Kelis." — Toni Tipton-Martin —Food52

Test Kitchen Notes

Reprinted with permission from Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking by Toni Tipton-Martin, copyright © 2019. Photographs by Jerrelle Guy . Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 (4- to 5-pound) bone-in pork shoulder
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, plus 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  1. Place the pork on a board and pat dry with paper towels, if needed. Place the pork on a rack in a heavy roasting pan. Using the tip of a sharp knife, make 1-inch-deep incisions all over the surface of the roast. Insert the garlic slices into the slits.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the salt, garlic powder, onion powder, coriander, paprika, pepper, and 1 teaspoon each of the allspice and ginger. Use your fingers to press the rub into the roast to completely coat it on all sides. Let rest for 30 minutes or refrigerate, covered, up to 24 hours. (If refrigerated, let stand at room temperature 1 hour before roasting.)
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  4. Carefully pour about 1 cup water into the bottom of the roasting pan. Set a rack in the roasting pan and the pork on the rack. Cover with foil. Roast for 3 hours, basting every 45 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, rum, lime juice, minced garlic, and remaining ½ teaspoon each of the allspice and ginger. Uncover the roast. Spread the paste over the meat and return it to the oven. Continue to roast until the outside is nicely browned, about 1½ hours, until the internal temperature reaches 185°F and the paste is sealed onto the roast. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • 8675309
  • Greg Crawford
    Greg Crawford
  • marsthomas
  • Anne

8 Reviews

marsthomas June 2, 2022
1. Agree with the error re: internal temperature. 145 is enough, and I pulled mine at 165 and it was still good.
2. I added water as I went along to get a real basting liquid, probably as much as an extra cup and a half.
3. The liquid:solid ratio for the paste did not work for me. 1/4 cup of rum was way too much, and the mixture just ran off the meat and burned in the pan. The next time I make this, I'll just add rum gradually until I get a spreadable texture.
4. Despite all this, it was still delicious. Can't go too wrong with slow-cooking pork shoulder, no matter what. Served with braised cabbage and some rice and peas.
Greg C. January 12, 2024
In the world of smoking meat, 200 degrees for a pork shoulder is considered nirvana. A pork shoulder has the fat and collagen that will melt away with a long slow cook and the meat then just flakes apart and is not dry at all. Yes, it will be done at 145, but it'll be amazing at 200. If you're using a pork loin roast then yes, pull it at 145. But a pork shoulder can take 185 and more.
8675309 August 20, 2020
The spice selections for this recipe make it into a real winner with a range of flavor depth. My wife and I loved it with steamed asparagus. However, please consider a couple of comments about the recipe instructions. Instruction #4 says to pour about one cup of water into the bottom of the roasting pan, roasting for three hours, and basting every 45 minutes. After the first 45 minutes there will be a small amount of fluid to baste with, but that evaporates soon. For less experienced cooks please recommend re-adding more water when/if it evaporates. The biggest concern I have about this recipe may in fact be a typographical error. Instruction #5 says to continue roasting ..."until the internal temperature reaches 185 degrees Fahrenheit...". The FDA recommends pork roasts be cooked to a minimum of 145 degrees, and up to 165. I can say from experience that a 165 degree pork roast is tough and chewy, but 145 degrees is moist and succulent. I can't imagine heating a pork roast to 185 degrees.

Thank you for the tasty recipe when cooked to 145 degrees.
Greg C. July 20, 2020
The spice combo, especially the coriander, allspice and ginger really made this pork dish special. They really came through, and combined with the glaze at the end, wow. It was tricky slicing a bone-in pork shoulder but it didn't really matter because it was so good. We really liked the little garlic presents throughout as well. This dish was easy to make and filled the house with wonderful aromas all afternoon. Served it with grilled asparagus.
Greg C. July 20, 2020
One thing I forgot to mention was that my glaze didn't all stick on the roast and a lot ended up in the roasting pan, where it cooked for a long time. It took a lot of effort and time to get all that baked sugar off my pan. You might consider lining your roasting pan with tinfoil. It'll make clean up much easier!
Anne July 19, 2020
This was delicious! It's high summer and I'm avoiding the oven, but the slow cooker on high for 6 hours seemed to work very well. Added the rum/lime/sugar mixture about halfway through, using all the juice from a lime. Served with broccoli and polenta, which were perfect for soaking up the yummy pan sauce.
Tammy A. February 26, 2021
Hi, Did you add water to the slow cooker?
Lanbriget June 24, 2020
This sounds delish! What would a few great side dishes be for this?