In my family the traditional Easter (Pascua de Resurrección) meat is a marinated roast pork. Thank God for fresh picnic ham because it comes with the skin because the crispy skin is my favorite part of the roast pork.
The fresh picnic ham I bought is almost 8 lbs. It has been marinating for almost a week in the refrigerator. Tomorrow when we return home from Easter Sunday Mass, it will be popped into the oven and roasted slowly until the meat just about falls apart. Then with a sharp knife the skin will be separated/lifted from the meat and broil until the skin is crackly and crunchy. I have to be careful not to burn it!
Family tradition is to serve this roast with roasted fresh sweet potatoes or yams, white long grain rice, green salad. Easter candy for dessert. I think I will also make white and semi-sweet chocolate dipped-fresh strawberries.
1 Fresh Picnic Ham (rinsed and dried) weight: approximately 7-8 lbs.
Approximately 2 cups vinegar (Cider or white)
2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Approximately 1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp. Hawaiian Salt (less if you are using table salt or as per your preference)
Black pepper to taste
1 large head of garlic (not one clove. We will be using all the cloves in that head)
Few fresh oregano leaves or (approximately 1/4 tsp dried)
Few fresh basil leaves or (Approximately 1/4 dried)
Herbs like Chives, green onions, mint can be used
Approximately 1 tsp Goya's Adobo Seasoning (optional)
1 envelope Goya's Sazon Seasoing (optional)
Approximately 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cumin
Process in all above ingredients (except the oil and the vinegar) together to get a paste. This can also be done by hand by mincing all the herbs and blending it with the salt, pepper and other seasonings.
Use the largest bowl you have that can hold the picnic ham comfortably. My largest bowl was a bit snug. Oh well... Add the vinegar and oil to the bowl. Blend together with a whisk. Score the skin or poke the skin with a sharp knife. Rub the seasoning paste all over the pork. Place the ham carefully into the vinegar.
Marinate the pork in refrigerator (make sure to cover tightly with cover or aluminum foil) for the minimum of three whole days. The longer it marinates, the tastier the meat.
Preheat oven at 325 degrees UPDATED NOTE: After 4 hours, the roast pork was still pink. So back it went into the oven at a higher temperature (350 degrees) for another hour. Then the meat was just the way I originally wanted it. Delicious too!
Place aluminum foil in the bottom of the roasting pan for easier clean up (optional). Place roast on the aluminum foil. Roast pork slowly for approximately 4 hours or more. (approximately 35 minutes per pound) It is hard to over-cook pork but try to watch it after the first two hours. The roast will be ready when the meat is no longer pink or even slightly pink is done. If you prefer the meat to fall apart, like we do, cook it the extra time. Then follow directions for broiling the skin.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes:
Wash by scrubbing one or two sweet potatoes per person (such as Okinawan). Dry and place in a baking dish or they can be placed directly onto the oven rack. Approximately one hour before the roast is ready, place the sweet potatoes in the oven and roast until a fork goes in easily.
If I remember, I will post pictures of the roasted pork on Monday.