Pernil, a puerto rican style roast pork shoulder

Main Dish
6 servings
20 min
35 min
Very Easy


Number of serving: 6
1 pork shoulder, 4 to 7 pounds (or use fresh ham) 4 or more cloves garlic, peeled

1 large onion, quartered

2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves or 1 tablespoon - dried oregano

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ancho or other mild chili powder

1 tablespoon salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil as needed

1 tablespoon wine or cider vinegar

1/4 cup of orange juice

Lime wedges for serving


  • Heat oven to 300 degrees. Score meat's skin with a sharp knife, making a cross-hatch pattern.
  • Pulse garlic, onion, oregano, cumin, chili, salt and pepper together in a food processor, adding oil in a drizzle and scraping down sides as necessary, until mixture is pasty.Blend in the vinegar.
  • Rub this mixture well into pork, getting it into every nook and cranny. Put pork in a roasting pan and film bottom with water. Roast pork for several hours , turning every hour or so and adding more water as necessary, until meat is very tender.
  • Finish roasting with the skin side up until crisp, raising heat at end of cooking if necessary.
  • Let meat rest for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting it up; meat should be so tender that cutting it into uniform slices is almost impossible; rather, whack it up into chunks. Serve with lime.


Pernil, A Puerto Rican Style Roast Pork Shoulder, photo 1
Pernil, A Puerto Rican Style Roast Pork Shoulder, photo 2
Pernil, A Puerto Rican Style Roast Pork Shoulder, photo 3


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