Stuffed Pork Shoulder Caja China Style (Oven Friendly) Recipe

Welcome to the world of BBQ and cooking. As summer approaches, there’s no better way to enjoy the season than with family and friends gathered around tasty food, laughter, and fun. If you’re looking for a new recipe to impress your guests, then you’ve come to the right place.

Enter the stuffed pork shoulder caja china style. This dish is the perfect choice for those who want to take their BBQ game to the next level. Not only does it bring together a combination of flavors that will leave your tastebuds dancing, but it’s also oven-friendly and simple to prepare.

This recipe is inspired by the traditional Cuban-style la caja china cooking technique where a whole pig is cooked in a wooden box over hot coals. Although this recipe only requires a pork shoulder joint, we keep true to the flavors and techniques that make this mode of cooking so special.

The preparation process involves marinating a boneless pork shoulder in sour orange juice, garlic, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and other seasonings overnight, stuffing it with a mixture of bacon, ham, guava paste, prunes, and other ingredients before finally roasting it to perfection. Trust us – your guests are going to love every bite.

So let’s get ready to impress your guests at your next backyard BBQ or gathering with this delicious stuffed pork shoulder caja china style recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Stuffed Pork Shoulder Caja China Style (Oven Friendly)
Stuffed Pork Shoulder Caja China Style (Oven Friendly)

Looking for a delicious, flavorful and impressive dish to serve at your next gathering? Look no further than this stuffed pork shoulder Caja China style recipe! Trust me when I say that this dish is sure to satisfy even the most discerning palettes.

Whether you’re an experienced pitmaster or just starting out, this recipe is easy enough to make in the comfort of your own home. What sets this recipe apart from others is the unique blend of spices that perfectly complements the juicy, tender meat. With the addition of brown sugar, guava, prune, bacon, ham, pepper and salt, the flavors truly come alive in every bite.

Another great advantage to this recipe is that it can be made using an oven – no special equipment required. Although traditionally cooked using a Caja China or Caja Asadora roasting box, we’ve created a modified version to allow for ease of preparation in any household kitchen. Simply follow our instructions and achieve impressive results without having to invest in expensive cooking equipment.

Not only is this recipe perfect for impressing guests at your next event, it also offers flexibility in terms of substitutions and variations. Feeling adventurous? Try swapping out some of the ingredients like oranges or bay leaves for different fruits and spices or experiment with different types of pork cuts, such as a boneless pork loin roast or pork belly. The possibilities are endless.

Overall, there are countless reasons why you’ll love this stuffed pork shoulder Caja China style recipe. The intense flavor profile combined with its easy preparation makes it a go-to dish for any occasion. So what are you waiting for? Try out our recipe and become the BBQ hero among your friends and family!

Ingredient List

 A delicious and savory stuffed pork shoulder, juicy and bursting with flavor!
A delicious and savory stuffed pork shoulder, juicy and bursting with flavor!

Prepare your shopping list! This recipe, inspired by traditional Caja China style roast pork, requires a unique blend of flavors and ingredients to create an unforgettable taste. Here’s what you need for the stuffing and marinade:

  • 1 pork shoulder (bone-in, preferably with skin intact)
  • 1 cup of sour orange juice (substitute with a mix of orange juice and lime juice if unavailable)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 4 ounces of prunes, pitted and chopped
  • 4 ounces of guava paste, chopped
  • 2 oranges, juiced and zested
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar

– A few extra springs of fresh thyme or oregano to add aroma to the marinade

Most items on this list should be available at your local supermarket. However, sourcing sour orange juice might require a bit more effort. Don’t be tempted to substitute it with regular orange juice, as the sourness is essential to balance the sweetness in this recipe. Luckily, a mix of orange and lime juices can replicate the same blend!

The Recipe How-To

 Take your BBQ game to the next level with this amazing Caja China style recipe.
Take your BBQ game to the next level with this amazing Caja China style recipe.

Prepare the Pork Shoulder

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  • Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil.
  • Rinse the pork shoulder under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels.

Make the Stuffing

  1. In a food processor, combine 6 garlic cloves, 3 bay leaves, and 1 tsp of salt. Pulse until everything is finely chopped.
  2. To that mixture, add half a cup of sour orange juice, half a cup of guava marmalade, and 1 tbsp of brown sugar.
  3. Use the pulse setting again to mix everything together.
  4. Set aside one cup of this mixture for basting later on.
  5. Add the remaining stuffing ingredients into the food processor – 1/2 pound of chopped bacon, 1/2 pound of chopped ham, 1/2 pound of chopped prunes, and 2 peeled oranges cut into pieces.

Stuff the Pork Shoulder

  1. Lay the pork shoulder down on its fatty side so that you can easily roll it later on.
  2. With a sharp knife, score the fat well so that it can better absorb flavors during marination and cooking.
  3. Rub the remaining stuffing mixture all over the pork shoulder, making sure to get into all the crevices.
  4. Roll up your stuffed pork shoulder tightly then tie it securely with butcher’s twine.
  5. Use a fork or skewer to puncture small holes all over the rolled pork to allow for heat penetration.

Cook the Pork Shoulder

  1. Transfer your stuffed and rolled pork shoulder onto your prepared roasting pan.
  2. Baste with about half of the reserved stuffing mixture.
  3. Cover loosely with aluminum foil so that steam can form and infuse moisture while baking.
  4. Roast pork in preheated oven until tender (approximately 2 hours). After approximately an hour and a half has passed, start checking every 10 minutes for readiness so as not to overbake it.
  5. Let your stuffed pork shoulder rest for at least six minutes before slicing and serving.

Now that your stuffed pork shoulder is complete, you will surely savor its succulent taste and captivating flavor that will keep you coming back for more!

Substitutions and Variations

 A beautiful and impressive dish that's perfect for special occasions and gatherings.
A beautiful and impressive dish that’s perfect for special occasions and gatherings.

For those looking to experiment with the recipe, there are several substitutions and variations that can be used. Here are a few suggestions:

– Prune can be substituted with dried apricots or raisins

– Bacon can be replaced with pancetta or prosciutto for a different flavor profile

– Ham can be swapped with smoked turkey or chicken for a lighter option

– If sour oranges are not readily available, try using a combination of orange and lime juice to achieve a similar tangy flavor

– For those who prefer a spicier kick, add red pepper flakes or hot sauce to the marinade mixture

– One variation of this recipe is to stuff the pork shoulder joint with cubed potatoes, carrots, and onions for a complete one-pot meal.

Experimenting with different flavors and ingredients is all part of the culinary experience. It’s important to note that substitutions may alter the texture and taste of the final product, but that’s what makes cooking unique – there’s always something new to discover in the kitchen.

Serving and Pairing

 Your guests will be blown away by the tantalizing aroma and mouth-watering taste of this dish.
Your guests will be blown away by the tantalizing aroma and mouth-watering taste of this dish.

This stuffed pork shoulder caja china style recipe is a winner for any occasion, be it a family gathering or a holiday feast. Once you’ve cooked up this tender and juicy dish, there are many ways to serve it for maximum flavor without overshadowing the star of the show.

The stuffing with prunes, bacon, and guava creates a balance of sweet and savory flavors that make this dish perfect for pairing with a variety of sides. You can serve it on its own, sliced thick for a classic dish with some panache, or cut into thin slices to top off sandwiches.

Going for a Cuban-style meal? Pair the stuffed pork shoulder with black beans, white rice, and fried plantains. Or consider serving it alongside roasted vegetables like garlic-infused broccoli or oven-roasted carrots.

If you’re looking to explore a bit more outside of traditional cuisine, try pairing with tangy coleslaw, creamy potato salad or roasted sweet potatoes seasoned with brown sugar and cinnamon. For an extra hit of citrus flavor that compliments the sour orange marinade of the pork, try adding fresh oranges to your side salad.

Whether you serve it as an entrée or as the centerpiece of your buffet table, everyone is sure to love this flavorful stuffed pork shoulder recipe. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try pairing it with an ice-cold beer or bold red wine like Zinfandel for maximum satisfaction.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A tasty and flavorful way to switch up your normal pork shoulder routine.
A tasty and flavorful way to switch up your normal pork shoulder routine.

It is no secret that cooking a delicious meal can be quite time-consuming, but with a little bit of planning, you can easily make your stuffed pork shoulder ahead of time, store it and reheat it up in no time.

To make-ahead, simply follow the recipe instructions up to the point where you would put the meat in the oven. Instead, cover and refrigerate the stuffed pork shoulder until ready to roast. The stuffing may require some additional cooking time, so keep an eye on it to ensure it heats through thoroughly.

When storing your stuffed pork shoulder, allow it to cool completely before placing it in an airtight container or tightly wrapped in plastic wrap. It can be kept refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

When reheating the stuffed pork shoulder, there are multiple ways to do so – just remember not to leave anything to chance for our precious Carribean flavors! A slow and low oven is recommended, as it will prevent overcooking and retain the meat’s moisture. Simply preheat your oven at 325 degrees F, put the stuffed pork shoulder in an oven-safe dish with a little bit of water or stock and cover tightly with foil. Then place it in the oven for about 30 minutes or until heated through.

If you are short on time and need a quick solution to reheat your leftovers or pre-cooked stuffed pork shoulder, try using a microwave or stovetop instead. Just remember that both methods require more attention than an oven and may result in uneven heating.

As always, be mindful of food safety when making any make-ahead meals. When reheating any cooked food including this stuffed pork shoulder recipe please ensure that internal temperature reaches at least 165°F (74°C) throughout before serving!

Tips for Perfect Results

 This recipe is sure to become a new favorite in your BBQ arsenal.
This recipe is sure to become a new favorite in your BBQ arsenal.

To achieve a perfectly cooked and flavorful stuffed pork shoulder caja china style, there are certain techniques and tips that would help elevate your dish from average to extraordinary. In this section, I will share some of my tried and tested tips for cooking the perfect stuffed pork shoulder.

Firstly, it is important to score the fat well and marinate the pork shoulder for at least 12 hours in advance. This allows the flavors to seep into the meat and tenderize it. For an even more flavorful dish, get creative with your marinade by adding ingredients such as guava or prune to enhance the sweetness.

When cooking in an oven, preheat it to 325 degrees F and always line the meat with bacon strips to add extra moisture and flavor. Additionally, be cautious not to overstuff the meat so that it can cook evenly.

To maximize the caja china style cooking method, consider investing in a caja china box or la caja asadora for an authentic experience. While using this method, be sure to remove the bone and flatten the meat to create a rolled pork shoulder that can be easily stuffed.

When selecting a pork shoulder, it is best to choose one with a fatty small amount that may be removed before cooking. This would ensure optimal results without compromising on taste or texture.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment with other cuts of pork such as pulled pork or boneless pork loin for a cuban-style twist on traditional barbecue dishes like pork ribs or roasted pork.

With these helpful tips, your next stuffed pork shoulder caja china style dish is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.


As with any recipe, there may be a few questions that pop up in your mind as you’re preparing this delicious stuffed pork shoulder caja china style. Don’t fret; we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you navigate through the recipe with ease. These queries will cover everything from ingredient substitutions to cooking times, so you can be prepared to tackle any challenges that come your way. Let’s dive into the FAQ section and put your concerns at ease.

How to cook pork shoulder in Caja China?

To cook mouth-watering pork using a caja china style la caja asadora roasting box, follow these instructions. Begin by pre-heating the roasting box with approximately 8 lbs of charcoal for around 15 to 20 minutes. Once it’s hot enough, place the pork in the box with the fat side facing upwards. Throughout the cooking process, make sure to baste the pork with mop every hour while replenishing the charcoal. When the internal temperature of the meat reaches 190 degrees, remove it from the roasting box. It’s now essential to let the pork rest for a minimum of 2 hours before pulling it apart to serve.

How long does it take to cook a pork shoulder in La Caja China?

After an hour of roasting, it’s time to give our succulent pork shoulder a little flip. However, safety first: be sure to take all necessary precautions to protect yourself from the heat. Once you’ve safely uncovered the Caja China, give the meat a quick turn and make some small cuts in the skin. Then cover it back up and top up the charcoal as needed. We’ll need to roast it for another 2 to 2 and a half hours to achieve that perfect, fall-off-the-bone texture.

Bottom Line

As a lover of BBQ, I can confidently say that the Stuffed Pork Shoulder Caja China Style Recipe is unparalleled in its tender, juicy flavors. Whether you’re cooking for a small gathering or going whole hog with a 70 lb pig, this recipe has something for everyone. With a perfectly balanced combination of ingredients like sour orange juice, garlic, and bay leaves, your taste buds will be transported to Cuban-style heaven.

But don’t just take my word for it – try it out yourself! With simple instructions and ample substitutions/variations options, you have the freedom to experiment and make this dish your own. And trust me – once you taste the lightly browned exterior and savory pork center of this stuffed masterpiece, you’ll never look back.

So give it a whirl and impress your guests with an authentic caja china-style la asadora feast they won’t soon forget. Who knows – this could become your go-to roast pork recipe for years to come. Happy grilling, and buen provecho!

Stuffed Pork Shoulder Caja China Style (Oven Friendly)

Stuffed Pork Shoulder Caja China Style (Oven Friendly) Recipe

I saw this on "Throw Down with Bobby Flay". Two things happened. One, I’m positive I need a Caja China, and two, I really need to make this. Recipe by Roberto Guerra. This Recipe calls for 1/2 Bottle of Malta-thus far the Recipezaar sifter will not accept it in the ingredient list. You need this for the recipe!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Cuban
Calories 1504.7 kcal


  • 1 (8 lb) pork shoulder, bone-in
  • 2 sour oranges, juiced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons pepper
  • 1/2 lb ham, thinly sliced
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 cup prune
  • 1 cup guava, shells
  • 2 cups brown sugar


  • If you are lucky enough to own a Caja China, use it with this recipe.
  • Remove bone and flatten meat so that it may be rolled.
  • If the pork shoulder is very fatty, a small amount may be removed.
  • Score fat well and marinate for a minimum of 12 hours in the sour orange juice, garlic, bay leaves, salt and pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Line meat with ham slices, bacon slices, prunes and guava shells.
  • Roll meat carefully to keep the filling inside the roll.
  • Tie firmly with a butcher twine.
  • Cover with brown sugar and 1/2 bottle of Malta and cook for 1 hour in the preheated oven.
  • At this point, turn the meat, cover with the remaining Malta and cook for an extra hour, or until the pork reaches a temperature of 180 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
  • Allow to cool and cut into fine slices.
  • Pour the drippings over the meat after slicing the meat.



Serving: 495gCalories: 1504.7kcalCarbohydrates: 74.5gProtein: 88.2gFat: 93.7gSaturated Fat: 32.3gCholesterol: 352.2mgSodium: 2680.6mgFiber: 3.4gSugar: 65.2g
Keyword < 4 Hours
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Shara @The Bird BBQ

Shara loves to experiment with different flavors and techniques when it comes to BBQ. She has been perfecting her craft for years and loves hosting backyard BBQs with friends & family. She often comes up with creative recipes that her guests rave about.