Roasted Pork Leg – Hornado de Chancho

Roasted pork leg recipe

En Español
This is my recipe for whole roasted pork leg, also known as hornado de pierna de chancho in Ecuador. This roasted pork leg is prepared by marinating the pork in a sauce of beer (and orange juice), garlic, achiote (annatto), and spices. It is then slow roasted with butter and spices. Hornado is a traditional dish from Ecuador and is usually sold at stands or markets. Most of these places will roast the whole pig in a large outdoor clay oven.  The traditional recipe uses a typical drink made from fermented corn called chicha instead of beer, and also uses lard instead of butter. I made this for the first time several years ago on January 1st for a “hangover recovery” lunch. I would probably do it more often but would try to find a smaller sized pig leg, maybe a 10 pound one. I wasn’t able to find the pork leg at any of the regular grocery stores and found it a local butcher’s (it was the last one they had), so if you are planning to make hornado de chancho I would recommend ordering the pork leg in advance.

Ecuadorian hornado or roasted pork leg with beer and achiote

Ecuadorian hornado can be found at most markets during the entire year, but it’s more traditional to prepare it a home during special occasions or holidays. It is impossible to serve this roasted pork dish by itself. The side dishes are a very important part (and this is true for many Ecuadorian dishes). I can’t imagine eating hornado without tasting the mote (hominy) or curtido or avocado in the same bite. There are a lot of options for side dishes, and these will vary from one region to another; or from one restaurant to another. The sides also depend on each person’s personal preferences (and the ingredients and time you have available). Since the pork is roasted in beer and butter, it will leave lot of juices in roasting pan. I love to add whole potatoes during the last hours, they turn out delicious and very tender since they cook in the pork sauce.

Roasted pork leg Hornado de chancho con mote

This recipe is time consuming as the pork leg needs to marinate for three days. This is the optimal way of preparing it so that all the flavors sink in to the meat, however it is possible to marinate for only a day or a couple of hours. I have another recipe for a quicker version of hornado that can be made with a smaller sized piece of meat and in less time.

Roasted pork leg

Suggested side dishes for hornado roasted pork:

Mote frito en salsa de hornado / Hominy sautéed in roasted pork gravy sauce

Curtido de cebolla y tomate / Pickled red onion and tomato salad

Platanos maduros fritos / Fried plantains

Aji criollo / Fresh spicy salsa

Agrio sauce

Llapingachos / Stuffed potato patties

Rice

Yuca

Avocado slices

Lettuce

Hornado de chancho – Roasted Pork Leg
Rate this recipe
1 ratings

Yield: For about 20 people as large portion, but can be stretched to 30-40 people if serving with all the extra side dishes

Hornado de chancho – Roasted Pork Leg

Whole roasted pork leg or hornado de pierna de chancho, prepared by marinating the pork in a sauce of beer, garlic and spices. Slow roasted with butter and spices.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Make sure the pork leg is clean and place it in a large non-reactive roasting pan (make sure it will fit in the fridge as well as the oven). You can also use a large turkey marinating bag to marinate it in.
  2. Rub or drizzle the lime juice all over the pork leg,
  3. Prepare the “aliño” by mixing the crushed garlic, ground cumin, salt and pepper. If you want the extra rich red color, you can also add a tablespoon of achiote or annato powder to the mix.
  4. For extra flavor in the meat itself, make several deep incisions on the meaty parts of pork leg and begin stuffing the incisions with some of the “aliño” mix. You can also score or cut into the skin, either simple vertical or horizontal lines or a cross hatch patter, if you want it to have that look, or if you prefer you can keep the skin completely intact - either option will work for this roasted pork hornado.
  5. Mix the rest of "aliño” with beer (or chicha or beer and orange juice), and pour it over the pork leg.
  6. Let the pork leg marinate and rest for 24-72 hours in the fridge. You can turn the leg around as need (or use the marinating bag to help concentrate the marinade all around the leg).
  7. Pre-heat oven to 400F (200C).
  8. In the meantime, in a small saucepan, melt a stick of butter on low heat, stir in the 1 tablespoon of the ground achiote and mix well. You can also add a bit of salt if desired (or if using unsalted butter).
  9. If using a marinating bag, remove the pork from the bag and place it in - skin side up - a large roasting pan, with the marinating juices. Use paper towels to dry off the skin side up and any part of the skin that isn't in the liquid.
  10. Drizzle and brush the melted achiote butter mix all over the dry pork skin. Keep any remaining butter mix to use to baste the pork skin during baking - and melt the additional stick of butter with achiote as needed.
  11. Bake the pork leg at 400 F (200C) for about 30-45 minutes.
  12. Lower the oven temperature to 325F and bake for 3 hours. If the pan juices start to dry up, heat additional beer until warm with a bit of the achiote butter and add it to the pan. You can also brush and baste the pork skin directly with the achiote butter mix every hour or as needed. Rotate the baking pan as needed to keep the pork cooking evenly. If the skin starts to brown too much then cover it with foil -without pressing the foil directly on the pork skin.
  13. If you have space in the roasting pan and want to cook the potatoes with the pork leg, add them at this time. If the potatoes are large or medium, it's best to cut them in half to make the sure they will be fully cooked. Another option is to use fingerling or baby potatoes, they take up less space and will cook better.
  14. Continue baking the pork leg at 325F for another ~4 hours. The internal temperature of the pork leg should be 160F when it is done. If you covered the pork leg with foil remove it during the last 30 minutes to allow the skin to get crispy. You can also sprinkle some cold water on the skin and then put the oven on broil for the last 5 minutes (optional).
  15. Serve with your choice of side dishes including the potatoes baked with the pork leg, mote blanco frito, curtido de cebolla y tomate, avocado slices, lettuce, and aji hot sauce. Other popular side dishes for hornado include rice, boiled yuca or cassava, habas or fava beans, and llapingacho potato patties.

Marinate the pork with garlic cumin mix, if making incisions into the skin, then also fill them with the marinade. You can also leave the skin intact if preferred. Marinating the pork leg in a bag

Dry the skin with paper towels before baking Drizzle and rub the achiote (annatto) butter mix over the pork skin

How to make Ecuadorian hornado or roasted pork leg with beer and achiote Roasting a whole pork leg

You can add potatoes during the last hours and let them cook the pork sauce Hornado de pierna de chancho

Roasted pork recipe Ecuadorian roasted porkEcuadorian hornado de chancho plate Hornado de chancho

Roasted pork leg or hornado de chancho

 

 

This post was last modified: December 29th, 2015 by Layla Pujol

Comments

  1. Alex Maynez says:

    Hello Laylita,
    My suegra is very secretive of this recipe. Not sure if these are her “secret” ingredients. I’m going to try this for Christmas. I did notice that she covers the whole chancho leg with aluminum. I plan on making mine in a large covered metal roasting pan. Do you cover yours at all?
    Thanks,
    Alex

    • Hi Alex, It depends on the exact size of leg (and sometimes the oven), I cover it if it starts to get too golden/brown and there’s still a lot of baking time left. And then I’ll uncover it again at then end so that it can finish browning as needed.

      • Awesome! That makes sense. Since I’ve only witnessed the final stages of the process. My Chancho leg is in its last few hours of marinating. Tomorrow I’ll roast it. Merry Christmas!!

  2. Estoy buscando hacer esta receta para una ocasión especial que se avecina, pero solamente somos dos personas.
    ¿Me puedes indicar con un link dónde está la receta más corta y más pequeña para hacer hornado?

    Hola Andres – Acabo de poner esa receta y esta aqui: http://laylita.com/recipes/2012/11/08/ecuadorian-hornado-or-slow-roasted-pork/

  3. Cissy Vaughn says:

    Leg of Pork:
    1. Is the the front legs, or the hams on the back legs? Back legs
    2. When making the deep incisions on the leg, do you cut through the skin as well, or pull it back, stuff, and then replace the skin back over the incisions? I did a few cuts though the skin, but it’s very tough so also under the skin
    3. How long and how deep are the incisions? 1-2 inches both deep and long

    I have several small pigs that I want to process relatively small (100 pounds) in order to quarter them and have easy to handle pieces of meat to cook in recipes such as this that won’t be overwhelming for a childless couple!

    Thank you so much for your time.
    Cissy

  4. This looks really good. How long for a 10 or 15 lbs roast?

    Usually about 25-30 minutes for pound – internal temp for pork should be at 160F

  5. 20 Pounds?

    Maybe it can get scaled down to a pork shoulder of 6 to 8 pounds…
    My biggest problem is the skin… in Gye, they make the skin extra crispy by removing it at some point either before or during cooking and it’s served on top of the “sanduche”

    Thanks for this recipe.

    Hi Xavier – I’ve added a recipe for a smaller piece of pork: http://laylita.com/recipes/2012/11/08/ecuadorian-hornado-or-slow-roasted-pork/. For the pork skin, it can be done while cooking or at end put in under the broiler (with or without removing it from the meat – though I find that removing it is easier)

  6. Cecilia says:

    HI
    I’VE BEEN MAKING “HORNADO” THE WAY I THOUGHT IT WAS… BUT AFTER READING THIS RECETA, I JUST CAN’T GET OVER ON HOW WRONG I WAS…LOL… SO MUCH WORK THAT GOES INTO MAKING THIS DISH, NO WONDER IT TASTES SO WONDERFUL WHEN YOU EAT IT IN ECUADOR…I’LL MAKE IT THIS WAY NEXT TIME..ONE MORE THING.. I WAS WONDERING IF MAYBE YOU COULD GET YOUR HANDS ON THE RECIPE FOR ALLUYAS… AND ALSO QUESADILLAS, NOT THE MEXICAN KIND… THE KIND THAT YOU EAT WITH ICE CREAM IN QUITO.. THEY ARE SOME KIND OF PASTRY… THANK YOU!… LOVE THE WEBSITE!

  7. Que perfeito!! Meu marido é equatoriano, mais somente sabe comer. Nada de receitas.Neste fim do ano vou fazer o Hornado. Depois conto.
    Feliz 2010!!!!!!

  8. Hola Laylita, gracias por tu receta, esta semana lo hago, lo tengo el el fridge con la cerveza….

  9. Mmmmmmmmm……..Delicious.

  10. Muchas gracias por la receta, una exelente receta.

    Los Ecuatorianos en el exterior necesitamos estas paginas para poder mantener vivas nuestras costumbres.

    Abrasos

  11. Hi there. I ate this at Carnival de Pueblo in South London. I was wondering what the white ‘pop corn’ type beans are on the front corner of the plate in the second photo?

    That is hominy corn, also called mote. More info on it can be found here: http://laylita.com/recipes/2009/01/16/mote-or-hominy/

  12. Thank you thank you thank you

  13. ingrid quartermaine says:

    i am so happy i found your web site. my husband is from ecuador and i am facinated with the way his mother cooks. all of these traditional recipies i have seen on her dinner table. iv often had questions about dishes and found the lauguage a challenge to understand the names in english.i hope you always keep this sight as it is amazing and you explain in such detail. god bless.

  14. Hi, Laylita.
    Thank you for all those wonderfull recipes. I just wonder how do you make the pork juice for the pork sandwich ( sanduche de chancho ). I just love that in Guayaquil.

Leave a Reply