Mexican Christmas Roast Pork

This traditional Mexican recipe for roast leg of pork is a festive Christmas centerpiece that's a beautiful alternative to ham or turkey. Enjoy at Christmas or for any special occasion!

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
5 hrs 30 mins
Additional Time:
6 hrs 10 mins
Total Time:
12 hrs 10 mins
24 servings


  • 12 pounds boneless pork leg

  • 2 cups hard apple cider, divided

  • 1 onion, quartered

  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • ½ cup blanched almonds

  • 15 pitted prunes, sliced

  • 1 ½ (20 ounce) cans pineapple rings, juice drained and reserved

  • 2 tablespoons lard


  1. Pierce pork with a sharp knife, making several slits all over the top of the leg; place into a large bowl.

  2. Combine 1 cup cider, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper in a blender; blend until smooth. Pour over pork. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator, 6 hours to overnight.

  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Remove pork leg from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.

  4. Transfer pork leg to a roasting pan, reserving juices that have collected in the bowl. Mix pineapple juice into the bowl; pour over the pork. Insert almonds and prunes into the slits on top and in the center of the pork. Inject some of the remaining cider into the pork using a baster. Pour any remaining cider on top. Rub lard over the top of the pork and cover with pineapple slices. Cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil.

  5. Bake in the preheated oven, basting every 30 minutes with pan juices, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads 145 degrees F (63 degrees C), 5 to 6 hours. Remove foil and bake until browned, about 30 minutes more. Remove from oven, cover with foil, and let sit for 10 minutes before carving.


Nutrition Facts (per serving)

329 Calories
9g Fat
13g Carbs
48g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 24
Calories 329
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 125mg 42%
Sodium 1477mg 64%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 48g
Vitamin C 5mg 24%
Calcium 13mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 77mg 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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