In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Smells like Christmas in my house, though it’s September.

trini bake porkIt’s funny how certain scents, music and even tv shows takes you back to a different time and place. Last night as I put together this recipe Tehya came up to me and asked “dad that smells good… what are you making?”. My response was “yea it’s smells like Christmas”. Like “Christmas”? I explained to her that I was making bake pork (roast pork in the oven) and I remembered that smell when her grandmother would make the traditional bake pork leg Christmas eve. To this day I can’t watch repeats of “The Little House On The Prairie or Waltons”, as it brings back a rush of memories. I still remember how we would all sit as a family to watch these shows as my mom would do the weekly ironing of our school uniforms and I miss the fact that we’ve all grown up and gone our separate ways.

Though Tehya didn’t remain wake to sample this amazing roasted pork, I’m sure when she comes home from school today she’ll be digging in. The ONLY approval I need when I cook is seeing our girls enjoy the final product. They are my judge and jury!

So what does Christmas smell like? Let’s get cooking so you’ll experience part of my childhood.

You’ll need…

5 lb pork leg (with bone)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoon thyme (fresh)
1 sprig of Oregano
1 spring onion with bulb
3 cloves garlic
1 lime or lemon.
1/4 habanero pepper sliced very thin (any hot pepper of your choice)

* When you purchase the piece of pork leg do get the one with the bone and with the skin/fat. Don’t worry, you can remove the fat/skin when it’s done, but we need this to help add flavour and to prevent the meat from drying off while we slow cook it. A pork loin will not give us the desired final product we’re hoping to achieve.

Start off by putting the piece of pork in a large bowl, then squeeze the juice of a lime or lemon over it and add water to wash. Drain and pat dry with a paper towel and set aside.

trinidad bake pork recipe

* if you don’t have the spring onion with the onion bulb part 9I just so happened to have some in my garden) use scallions and a normal cooking onion as replacement.

The next step is to get the seasoning ready to coat and marinate the piece of pork. Chop as fine as you can, the onion, thyme and oregano (use shado beni or cilantro if you don’t have fresh oregano) and minced the garlic. In a small bowl place all the chopped ingredients and add the salt, black pepper and olive oil. Give it a good stir, then paste it all ove the pork leg. Make some small stab cuts into the pork leg (meat side – not the fat) and work some of the seasoning into those cuts. I also try to pull the skin back a bit and put some of the herb mixture under it. If you’re wondering why we used oil in the mixture, it’s to help combine everything and to allow it to attach to the meat.

Allow this to marinate for about 1 hr.

Tip: To get the flavour but not the heat from the habnaero, use the bottom part of the pepper and don’t use any of the seeds.

seasoning for oven roasted pork

how to season pork for roating

caribbean roast pork

TIP : I seasoned the pork in the roasting pan I’ll be using so I don’t have to worry about transferring anything when it’s time to cook and any seasoning that falls off the piece of meat will fall to the bottom of the pan and perfume the dish even further as it roast.

Preheat your oven to 375 then place the roasting pan (covered) on the middle rack and allow to cook for about 2 hrs at this temperature. TIP: Place the pork with the fat/skin side up, as mentioned before we’ll be using the fat to keep the meat moist and to add some extra flavour

baked pork recipe

After 2 hrs, I flip the pork over the pork to allow the meat side to get some of the direct heat and get  the browned colour we’ll looking for. At this point I also remove the cover from the pan and allow it to cook for another hour. After the first 30 minutes of the final hour of cooking I flip back the meat with the skin side up and allow that side to get some colour as well. You will notice that the skin will shrink and not look how it did when we first started. A good way to know when the roast is done it to use push on the bone to see if it moves freely.

bake pork recipe

trini christmas bake pork

trini roast pork

Allow to cool a bit before slicing and trimming out the fat and skin. My favourite way to enjoy this roasted pork is on a sandwich or on it’s own. I create a simple dipping sauce for it with equal parts ketchup and soy sauce, to which I add some of my homemade hotsauce. Whisk together with a few drops of fresh lime juice and enjoy.

BTW you’ll notice that the herbs we used in seasoning will become dark and give the impression that it’s burnt… that’s just the natural sugars caramelizing. Scoop some of that onto your sandwich as well.. it’s lovey!

Final TIP. You will now have a very dirty roasting pan which can be a bit of a task to clean. I usually get a sheet of fabric softner (static guard) and place it in the pan, fill with water and allow it to soak overnight. Not sure what happens, but all that baked-on grime releases from the pan and cleans up with soap and water.

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  1. muriel Herbert
    December 27, 2016 / 1:52 pm

    Thanks for sharing, I am going to try it and post a picture after.

  2. Maureen Richards
    October 11, 2016 / 3:31 pm

    Thanks for this recipe, I will use this for Thanksgiving instead of turkey this year. I too will like a recipe for home made ham. Thanks y

  3. Gloria Farkollie
    April 10, 2015 / 8:28 am

    Hi Chris, Please show us how to make our own ham.


  4. trena
    October 10, 2014 / 10:26 am


  5. Kris
    August 11, 2014 / 9:53 am

    Oh Gorm!!! I Love this recipe, and love the pork twice as much.

  6. serenity jackson
    October 1, 2012 / 7:55 pm

    chris could u send me a cheesecake recipe plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ?

  7. Cynthia Layne
    August 24, 2012 / 12:56 pm

    Chris I tried the pork recipe luv it

    could you send the recipe for barbecue pigtails again

  8. Anna Maria Douglas
    December 26, 2011 / 7:48 pm

    Chris, thank you for faithfully posting these delicious recipes. Unfortunity, I eat everything with thanksgiving; therefore, I look forward to more recipes. I hope you had a Merry Christmas and that 2012 will bring more prosperity for you and yours. God Bless!!!!

  9. Shantee Ramgarib
    December 15, 2011 / 9:19 pm

    your cooking is great but I do not eat pork.

    • Palladini
      September 20, 2016 / 10:12 pm

      That is too bad, it just leaves more for me, and some day I will bring you some.

  10. Cynthia
    December 14, 2011 / 6:46 am

    Chris I tried your chicken stew with browning the sugar it came out awesome a to die for thanks man

  11. Claudette
    October 14, 2011 / 1:14 pm

    Yummy Chris, just yummy!

  12. Maria
    September 23, 2011 / 10:38 am

    Chris can you clarify whether oregano and spanish thyme are the same or entirely different herbs that taste similar.


  13. NANCY
    July 13, 2011 / 12:38 pm


  14. richard
    April 22, 2011 / 2:26 pm

    i will have to try this.I like the colour at the end.
    Today is Good Friday so a fish only for me and i am using your saltfish recipes with King fish (fried) also.
    So thanks for all these great recipes Chris.

  15. wayne taylor
    March 28, 2011 / 6:44 pm

    Love my Pork!!!! Make my own seasoning with Onions, spring onions, garlic,scotch bonnet,thyme, broad leaf thyme,parsley, salt. I then make slits into the pork with a knife, then I push the seasoning into these. I then leave the pork overnight in the fridge and cook on a rack with water in the pan with sliced tomato,onions, thyme and two chicken stock cubes. This makes for a wonderful gravy to go with macaroni, sweet potato, and roast vegetables.

  16. verewilliams
    September 13, 2010 / 11:36 am

    that pork menu just made my day

    • jumbieg
      September 27, 2010 / 9:55 pm

      thx. hope it turned out well for you.

  17. June 9, 2010 / 8:58 am

    hi chris the ole time trini christmas smell, don’t forget the bake ham the oil cloth on the table with the red rosy apples, and the freshly home made bread, ah so much for the smells of yore ,could never ever recreate that scent, bye for now keep up the memories,

    • June 17, 2010 / 2:03 am

      real memories you mention dey oui! hope the kids today get a little peek at how wonderful life used to be.

  18. suzanne
    February 20, 2010 / 4:01 pm

    it looks very good chris

    • admin
      February 21, 2010 / 2:57 pm

      Thanks Suzanne.

  19. November 25, 2009 / 12:32 pm

    Charmaine, I’m sure you’ll amaze her and everyone else. Without the fat… maybe rub the outside with some olive oil? Remember to keep it covered (until you’re ready to brown it) and really slow cook (oven) it.

    Do let me know how it turns out. BTW..I’ve seen some people lay pieces of bacon (uncooked) on meat when roasting.. that may work as well. Since the fat from the bacon (as it cooks) will help keep the roast very moist.

    Happy Cooking

    .-= Chris De La Rosa´s last blog ..Drupati’s Doubles and Roti Shop, Toronto Ontario. =-.

  20. charmaine
    November 24, 2009 / 4:22 pm

    I’m making your recipe for TnT mother-in-law Thursday. Wish me luck. I was not lucky enough to get a piece with the fat. Whole Foods ‘kindly’ removed most of the Fat. What are my chances of having a moist tasty roast sans fat. Anything thing I can do to ensure best results?

  21. October 13, 2009 / 2:26 pm

    This sounuds really awesome. Would love to eat this.

  22. tbc
    October 7, 2009 / 1:16 pm

    lovey I will try this on sunday

  23. Sandy
    September 30, 2009 / 10:55 am

    Hi I happen to have a leg of pork home, will try it out for Sunday. thanks for recipe. I wish you and your familey all of Gods love, be blessed and not stressed. This is from my Bermuda Family.

  24. dee
    September 27, 2009 / 9:27 pm

    Nice recipe.. Its simular to a Puerto ARican dish called “Pernil”… I marinade my pork for 2 days.. and roast it for 5 hours.. And use Adobo and Sazon..

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