Mechado de Pierna de Cerdo (Bolivian Style Roast Ham)
The first time I tried this recipe was when I was in my first year of college. My friends and I got together to celebrate New Year’s Eve. I had seen my mom do this recipe and I thought it would be easy to replicate. Our first mistake was to buy a 20lb ham with the skin and everything for just four people. We started cooking around 9 pm thinking we would have it ready in a couple hours but we did not realize that it would take 4 hours to cook and that we would run out of natural gas in the process. We opened champagne and we had our grapes at midnight but we did not eat until 1:30 am but by that time we were all tired and went to bed. The good thing is that we had amazing left overs for a while. This dish really doesn’t take that long to cook and is so delicious that you can use the left over pork to make the amazing Sandwich De Chola (Cochabamba style).
4 lb ham rump half (with the skin)
1 tbsp salt
1 large onion
1 large tomato
2 large carrots
1 small green pepper
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup of spicy red pepper (paste)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tbsp vinegar
1 cup corona beer (any beer)
For the side?
3 sweet potatoes
12 small potatoes
1 head of lettuce
1/2 red onion
1 tbsp cilantro
salt and pepper
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp vinegar
Put together the first ingredients
Make cuts in the ham all around big enough to put some of the cut vegetables in the holes. Rub the ham with the tbsp of salt and set aside.
Peel the onions and carrots.
Cut the carrots, tomato, and pepper in a large thick size, about 1/2 inch thick. Put them in a large bowl and mix. Set aside.
Put together all the spices.
Peel the garlic and mash with a garlic press.
Cook the red spice paste in 1 tbs oil add the garlic. Let it cool.
Add the spices, the cooked red spice pepper and the beer to the vegetables. Mix.
Insert the mix of vegetables in the cuts made in the ham. Cover it and refrigerate for 1/2 hour.
Preheat oven to 350F
Place the ham in a container and bake cover for 2.5 hours covered. Uncover the last half hour. Broil the last 4 min to crisp the skin. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 min.
One hour before the ham is ready, roast the potatoes with their skin on and cut them in half at 375F. Prepare the salad.
Cut the ham in slices and place it in the plate. This goes so well with everything and there is usually plantain in this recipe. My husband and I had leftovers the next day with mashed potatoes and it was delicious. Enjoy with a nice cold beer.