Yuca con Mojo a la Meps

Created for a lovely 2023 Cuban Christmas dinner.

  • 1 large yuca, about 1-1/2 to 2 lbs
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced or grated with a Microplane grater
  • 1/2 t oregano
  • 1/4 t ground cumin
  • Finely grated zest from 1/2 orange
  • 2 to 4 T finely diced red onion
  • 1/4 C orange juice, preferably fresh-squeezed
  • 1/4 C lime juice, preferably fresh-squeezed
  • Big handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • Fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
  • Sweet Hungarian paprika and more parsley to sprinkle over the top

Cut the yuca into cylinders, about 3 inches long, and peel the brown waxy skin from each one with a paring knife. Then dice it into 1/2-inch squares. In a medium saucepan, cover it with water and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until tender. Be careful not to overcook it, or you’ll get mush.

Drain the yuca well in a colander. Wipe out the saucepan and return it to the stove. Heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the garlic, oregano, and cumin for about a minute. Put the yuca in a large bowl and pour the olive oil mixture over it. Stir well and then add the rest of the ingredients. Allow to marinate for at least an hour. Overnight is better.