Mexican-style Roast Pork with Orange, Cumin, and Cinnamon

Thinking of switching things up for Christmas dinner this year? Try this melt-in-the mouth roast pork from Rukmini Iyer - it's flavoured with cumin, cinnamon, and orange for a thoroughly festive feel.

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This is one of the nicest dishes of pulled pork I’ve ever made, and the recipe was inspired by watching Mexican chef Cristina Martinez on Chef's Table. While a home cook with an ordinary oven can’t hope to create anything like the slow-cooked miracle that is her barbacoa, this version is unlikely to disappoint your guests.

Serves 6-8
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 4 h 30 min
Total time: 4 h 40 min


2 white onions, thickly sliced
½ bulb garlic, cloves crushed but unpeeled
2 oranges, thickly sliced
2 bay leaves
2 tsp fresh or dried oregano
1 large cinnamon stick
2kg boned pork shoulder
2 tsp sea salt
3 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
To serve:
tortillas and sour cream
chilli sauce (optional)


Preheat the oven to 140°C fan/160°C/gas 2.

Tip the onions, garlic, oranges, bay leaves, oregano and cinnamon stick into a large lidded casserole dish or a roasting tin. Rub the pork shoulder all over with the sea salt, ground cumin and pepper, then sit the pork on top of the vegetables (you may need to move the vegetables and orange slices around so some sit around the pork joint in order to fit it in to your casserole dish).

Cover tightly with foil or the lid, then transfer to the oven and roast for 4 hours 30 minutes. Remove the lid or foil for the final 45 minutes and increase the oven temperature to 200°C fan/220°C/gas 7, to allow the skin to crisp up.

Remove the crackling and cut it into pieces. Shred the cooked pork with two forks, and serve the pork and crackling with tortillas, sour cream and your favourite chilli sauce, if you wish.

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