This recipe was sent in by Sylvia Montesinos, a reader living in Albuquerque and raised in Costa Rica.
I started this dish the day before because my friend and great cook, Kim Moss (see previous posts The Very Best Ever Mincemeat Pie Recipe and How to Make a Perfect Country Loaf by Kim Moss), said he thought it would be good to marinate it over night. So I did all the chopping and stuffing the night before and put it in a plastic bag to marinate (another Kim suggestion). The stuffing itself takes a little patience. The holes are quite small and it takes a little effort to get the vegetables pushed into the meat. But do be patient. It’s worth it.
The next day dawned very beautiful and snowy—a perfect day for our gathering. This was a bit of a send-off for Kim. He’ll be leaving Truchas, headed back to his life in Santa Fe. He’s been here living in and sitting Hand Artes Gallery while Bill and Margaret Franke, the owners, were away for the winter. And he’s been painting. He’s a wonderful artist (I wanted to do a post about his work but he’s rather private and there really wasn’t much time—maybe later, we’ll see). We’re all going to miss him, but we know he’ll be back for visits.
Anna came over early to share a glass of wine and to help with the potatoes and gravy (she’s the accepted village expert in this—hard to beat).
A lovely evening and dinner were made even more so by the snow falling outside. And Sylvia’s Costa Rican Stuffed Pork was fabulous. Here’s the recipe and I highly recommend you all give it a try:
The Costa Rican Version of Spanish Style Stuffed Roast Pork
3-4 lb. pork roast (Jeane here: I did a 4 lb. roast)
2-3 garlic cloves
1/2 medium onion (Jeane here: I used a full onion)
1/2 red bell pepper (Jeane here: I substituted poblano chilies)
salt and pepper
rice wine vinegar or any wine
your favorite hot sauce (I use a mild variety)
Mince the garlic, onion, bell pepper (Jeane here: I substituted poblano peppers because one of my guests can’t eat bell peppers) and cilantro very finely and mix. Then take the pork roast, wash, pat dry and season with salt and pepper to taste. Using a sharp knife, poke several 1 inch holes around each side of the meat and stuff with the mix. The holes should go in about an inch and then I use the end of my finger to stuff the mix in. I make rows of holes to stuff about 1/2-1 inch apart but you can do as many as makes sense. When you slice the pork you will be able to see small areas of the mix where you stuffed the pork scattered around. Don’t worry about the center.
I like to then marinate it in 2 TBSP olive oil, 1 TBSP soy sauce, a few drops of hot sauce, 1/4 cup water and 1 TBSP of wine vinegar for several hours (Jeane here: I marinated it over night in a plastic bag to keep the marinade close to the meat).
Then cook roast with marinade adding 1/2 cup of water to the pan and cover loosely with foil. Cook for 2 – 2 1/2 hours (or 45 min. per pound, 30 minutes per pound for larger roasts of 4 to 5 LBS) at 350, removing the foil for the last 30-45 minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes while you make the gravy. I put the pan I cooked the roast in right on the burner and add about 1 TBSP of flour and 1 tsp. of gravy master and wisk. Cook til thickens slightly. This dish goes well with rice and either a steamed vegetable or salad (Jeane here: I made mashed potatoes).
I actually ate this quite a bit growing up and have memories asking the housekeeper, Marielos, if I could help while I watched her prepare the pork. Made it myself for the first time just a month ago and it came out as wonderfully as I remember it. The stuffing part takes a little while, but after you are done with that you are home free. Also, I am guessing on most of the measurements as I usually just wing it when I cook, but this particular dish is definitely not an exact science. I know it will come out delish. Feel free to edit… I look forward to hearing how this turns out.
Love to you all,