Christmas Roast Leg of Pork in Costa Rica
Christmas dinner in Costa Rica is not complete without a freshly Roasted Leg of Pork as the plato fuerte (the main course). The Costa Rica Christmas table is always brightly decorated with fruit and flowers celebrating the joyful season. But everyone must wait until after returning from ‘Misa de Gallo’; the Mass of the Rooster or Midnight Mass. Catholicism is the main religion of the Costa Rica and the Gallo or rooster has been an icon of Roman Catholicism for centuries.
In these blogs we learn Costa Rica Christmas recipes at Blue River Costa Rica Resort & Hot Springs. It’s now late October, a good time to be getting into the spirit. In Costa Rica Christmas dinner involves a lot of teamwork and organization to prepare the entire meal. This collaborative effort usually involves the whole family, for the many preceding days leading up to Christmas Eve. Don’t be discouraged, each dish can be quickly and easily prepared individually; and each recipe, on its own, produces amazing results.
Costa Rica Christmas Dinner
At Blue River Resort & Hot Springs our special Costa Rica Christmas dinner is served at the Tiki Bar & Restaurant, prepared by our long-time Chef Jorvis. Although the views of Rincon de la Vieja’s smoking volcano crater and soaking in hot springs are entrancing you’ll want to check out the special dinner menu, So after an exhilarating Eco-adventure tour Zip Lining, Water Tubing, Horseback Riding, at the Blue River & Grand Waterfalls, Rafting, Cathedral Waterfalls, Dinosaur Park or another of the many Eco-adventure tours, we promise you’ll have an appetite for Costa Rica Christmas Dinner.
Before visiting Blue River Resort & Hot Springs, try out these recipes at home to experience special Costa Rica delicacies, especially these delicious recipes to fill out the Costa Rica dinner table.
These dishes can also be enjoyed anytime of the year. Even if you are not in Costa Rica, it will taste like you are. Begin the meal with a hot bowl of Bacalao Soup to warm the path for the Roast Leg of Pork.
Now, let’s learn the recipe, Roast Leg of Pork.
6 to 8 lbs …Pork Shoulder (bone-in)
1 Head ……Garlic (shelled and minced)
1 Tbl ……….Oregano
1 Sprig …….Thyme
2 Medium …Onions (sliced into rings)
3 tsp …………Sea Salt
2 tsp …………Black Pepper (ground)
2 ………………Bay Leaves
1 ………………Hot Pepper
4 Tbls ……….Yellow Mustard (Liquid)
2 Tbls ……….Oil (Vegetable or Coconut)
2 Cups ………Orange Juice (Use processed orange juice- it contains more sugar)
Juice of a Sour Orange (Seville-Orange or Marmalade-Orange)
1 Roll …………Aluminum Foil
1 ……………….Sealable Food-Safe Plastic Bag large enough to hold the pork leg
Roasting Potatoes (Calculate 1 per person)
- Select a good pork leg to prepare; thin skinned with not too much fat is ideal
- Wash and peel the potatoes, then divide in half.
- Clean and dress the pork leg removing any hairs by singing over an open flame.
- Weigh the pork leg to calculate the cooking time required. The leg will need to roast, at 450F & 350F degrees, for 30 minutes per pound –
- (Weight in Lbs. X 30 minutes = total cooking time in minutes). Midways through roasting (at ‘half-time’), reduce the heat to 350F for the duration.
- Place the leg on a cutting board and using a sharp knife make deep incisions through the leg to the bone. Make many holes to allow the seasoning-mix to get to the centre of the leg. Caution- Not so many holes that the leg loses its shape and firmness. Do this on all round the pork leg at, roughly, 3” intervals.
- Combine all the other ingredients, except the onions, in a food processor and liquefy the lot.
- Placing the leg in a roasting pan large enough to hold leg whilst you season it.
- Wearing suitable food-handling gloves spread the contents of the food processor over the leg and into the holes. Using your gloved fingers, direct the seasoning-mix into the holes in the pork leg; rub the exterior thoroughly with the balance.
- Cover the leg in the pan with plastic-wrap and place it in the freezer; or alternately, place the seasoned leg and the seasoning-mix in a’ sealable food-safe plastic bag’; then place in freezer. This method works well to keep more of the leg in contact with the marinating juices.
- Marinate the pork leg for three days in the freezer; turning twice per day to redistribute the juices.
Roasting the Pork Leg
- In preparation for roasting, remove the leg from the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 450F degrees.
- Place the onions and potato-halves in the bottom of the roasting pan and set the pork leg on top. Add the juices from the marinade before covering the roasting pan. Cover or tent the roasting pan with aluminum foil and roast in the preheated oven, basting every 30 minutes.
- Half-way through the roasting, lower the oven temperature to 350F degrees and continue basting every 30 minutes.
- The leg’s internal temperature should reach 160F degrees in the process.
- At the end of the roast, remove leg and potatoes in the pan from the oven and set it to cool or rest; allow the leg to ‘rest’ for 15-20 minutes before removing from the roasting pan and its juices
- The roasted pork leg is now ready to be carved, plated along with the potatoes and served.
To prepare gravy for your roasted pork leg, first pour the remaining juices from the roasting pan into a saucepan on the stove-top. Sift in a tablespoon, or two, of flour to the mixture; along with a cup of water. Stir constantly whilst simmering at a low heat to avoid burning. Season the gravy to suit your taste. When the gravy thickens, remove from the heat and strain the contents through a wire-strainer into a gravy-bowl for serving.
In Costa Rica, a roasted pork leg is the main dish served at festive meals. Pork, chicken and fish are the other proteins eaten by Ticos. A carved roasted pork leg goes well with the other recipes outlined in this blog. Leftovers make a fantastic sandwich the next day.
Try a sauce of your liking to top this dish. Popular choices are cranberry sauce, apple or mint sauce, Salsa Lizano (a Costa Rican staple), or honey-mustard. Serve separately on the side.
At the end of the meal, save some space for a special dessert, a healthy slice of Budin or Costa Rica’s Bread Pudding.
Guests sip cold Rompope and sometimes Rum-Punch during the gathering. The children’s Rompope is made without alcohol and is equally refreshing
Christmas At Blue River Resort & Hot Springs
After checking-in at the Resort, we recommend getting acquainted with the grounds and the many activities available at Blue River All Inclusive Resort & Hot Springs. Come introduce yourself to Chef Jorvis at the Tiki Bar and Restaurant. (Check out the links on this page to view the menus). You’ll find the staff at Blue River Resort & Hot Springs warm, just like the Costa Rica people as a whole; so please, introduce yourself to the entire staff. Then head to the reservations desk to book excursions into the rain forest. Only here on the north side of Rincon de la Vieja is there a lush rain forest with blue rivers, hot springs, grand waterfalls and views of the smoking volcano. Visit awe-inspiring natural locations. Choose from a variety of excursions like hiking, zip lining, horseback riding, water tubing and rafting.
Remember, to ask Chef Jorvis about Blue River Resort & Hot Springs’s Christmas Roasted Pork Leg recipe. It is so moist and tender it will simply melt in your mouth