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/cider), garlic, achiote (annatto), and spices. It is then slow roasted with butter and spices. Hornado is a traditional roasted pork dish in Ecuador and is usually sold at food stands in local markets. Most of these places will roast the whole pig in a large outdoor clay oven. The traditional method uses a typical drink made from fermented corn called chicha instead of beer, and also uses lard instead of butter. The flavor of chicha is similar to a dry apple cider, so I’ve started using a mix of beer, cider and orange juice for the marinating liquid.
I usually make pork hornado a few times a year, especially for Christmas/New Year. Sometimes I do the whole big 20+ lb pork leg, and more often I use a smaller size pork shoulder or pork butt. I’ve adapted that recipe for smaller cuts/less marinating/quicker cooking. If you are planning to do the whole leg, you are more likely to find them at a butcher’s shop than at a regular supermarket. I also find them at our local Asian supermarket – and both will order them for you with a week’s notice if needed – especially recommended during the holidays.
Suggested side dishes for hornado roasted pork:
Ecuadorian hornado can be found at most markets during the entire year, but it’s more traditional to prepare it a home for 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.
This recipe is time-consuming as the pork leg needs to marinate for two-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.
Step by step preparation photos for Ecuadorian Roasted Pork Leg – Hornado de Chancho