By E. Machado.
Also known as the Good Night & more extensively as Christmas Eve, Nochebuena is celebrated on Dec 24th every year. In Latin American cultures, such as Cuban, is the biggest celebration, a time for family & friends during the holidays to enjoy food & traditions that are passed down from one generation to the next.
Cubans celebrate with lechon asado (roasted pork), often cooked in a caja china, ahead of time Cuba-style marinated with garlic-citrus & then slowly roasted for several hours. The cultural meal also includes a variety of side dishes: First, the rice, most people would say congri but many others would go with white rice and black beans. What else? In terms of sides, anything is possible here, yes combining maduros with yucca con mojo & serving tostones & of course even an assortment of all.
At Havana 1957, you will find the Nochebuena menu every year with 3 or 4 courses. Always with Lechon Asado as one of the entree choices to keep the tradition alive. The roast pork is deliciously & well ahead marinated using Mojo criollo made with garlic, onions, white vinegar, sour oranges & olive oil.
As a best companion, we go with the iconic congri, black beans & long grain rice cooked together, adding bacon, onions, green bell peppers, peeled garlic & spices like cumin. The result is a super flavorful & iconic Cuban dish to pair the lechon on Christmas eve.
Is that all? No no no. Back to the beginning. To start, we have the Toston Vaca Frita, the stuffed plantain with shredded beef that is simply appetizing & on some occasions we also have the Cuban traditional soup known as Caldosa criolla.
What about dessert? You will never go wrong with Flan de Caramelo.