On my many trips to Miami I ALWAYS make sure to visit La Carreta and or Cafe Versailles on SW 8th Street “Calle Ocho” in “Little Havana”. Also known for being the corporate hub for cigar manufacturers; Little Havana has some of the best Cuban food anywhere! Anyone visiting Miami should get their butts in a cab and get over to Little Havana for a Cuban meal and a cigar with Cuban coffee. I Love Lechón (Roasted Pork Shoulder)and Moros (Black Beans). Lechón takes 8-12 hours to cook so I figured out a way to get my pork with moros. How do I do this? Smoked pork shanks! I would make moros the same way even if I did take the time to make Lechón because the smoked pork shanks add so much flavor. I use all the other main ingredients in Moros reflecting and maintaining El Sabor de Cuba (The Cuban Flavor).
Ingredients for the stock
4 pounds smoked ham shanks or smoked ham hocks
6-8 cloves garlic smashed whole.
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
Water to cover
In a dutch oven or large stock pot combine all ingredients and bring to a simmer. Simmer covered for 3 hours. Uncover and adjust heat to maintain a light simmer for another 3 hours. Remove pork shanks and strain liquid through a colander into stock pot or large bowl. Discard peppercorns, bay leaves and garlic. Let ham shank cool and remove the bones, fat and gristle. The tendon and skin is edible and highly prized. Not very good for you but quite tasty.
Ingredients for the Moros
Pork shank stock
Water to cover by one inch if needed.
2 yellow onions diced
1-2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano dried or fresh
3/4 cup dry red wine
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil to coat the pan or dutch oven.
Tip: A covered pan needs less heat to maintain a simmer or boil so be careful with your heat.
Tip:Buy 4 packs of 187 ml of wine; great for cooking when you don’t need a whole bottle. 187 ml yield about 3/4 cup.
Heat a large stock pot or dutch oven to medium heat; coat the bottom with olive oil and add onions and oregano. Saute for 5 minutes. Add Beans, stock, cumin, wine and sugar. Add water if need to cover by 1 inch. Increase heat until a simmer is achieved. Reduce heat to maintain a light simmer for 1 hour. With a hand potato masher or immersion blender mash a very small amount of beans to help thicken the beans. Add the meat from ham shanks and stir. Let simmer for another 2 hours. serve over white rice.