Enjoy delicious Pernil, a festive dinner entree made of marinated pork shoulder roasted slowly in the oven until the meat is falling off the bone and the skin is crackling and crisp.
This dish is a traditional holiday centerpiece of Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba and the island countries of the Caribbean. Create a flavorful marinade and then let your oven do the work!
Pernil – Crispy Roasted Pork Shoulder
Yields: 7 – 10 servings
Pork shoulder, Bone-in, One 5-8lb
Sour orange juice (from seville oranges), 1 cup (OR substitute 1 cup tart grapefruit juice OR 1/2 cup each orange and lemon juice)
Vinegar, 2 tablespoons
Olive Oil, 1/4 cup
Yellow onion, 1 medium, quartered
Garlic cloves, 8-10 large, peeled and crushed
Cilantro, chopped, 1 1/2 cups
Red bell pepper, 1 large, seeds and center ribs removed
Cumin, ground, 2 tablespoons
Oregano, dried, 2 tablespoons
Paprika, sweet or smoked Spanish, 2 tablespoons
Adobo, 1 Tablespoon
Salt, Kosher, 5-8 teaspoons (1 teaspoon per pound of pork)
Black Pepper, ground, 2 teaspoons
Water, 1-2 cups
Prep The Pork Shoulder
Rinse pork shoulder under cold water and pat dry. Place skin-side up in a large roasting pan, right on the pan (not on roasting rack). Use a knife to cut slits into the skin and fat.
Marinade The Pork
Combine the orange juice (for this recipe we used 1/2 cup each orange and lemon juice), vinegar, olive oil, onion, garlic, cilantro, red bell pepper, cumin, oregano, paprika, adobo, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor and puree into a smooth paste.
Use your hands to rub the pork shoulder with the marinade paste on all sides. Use all of the marinade being sure to work into any crevices and the slits cut into the skin.
Cover pan with plastic wrap and let marinate overnight.
Slow Roasting Pernil To Perfection
Remove from refrigerator when ready to cook and let sit at room temperature 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Wipe off excess marinade from the pork skin and pour water into bottom of pan so that it goes up about 2 inches on the side of the pork.
Cover roasting pan tightly with foil or pan cover and place in oven on lowest rack to bake for 6 to 10 hours or until very tender.
Smaller roasts cook less while larger roasts take more time. If you cook on the lower side of the time frame the meat will be done but may need to be chopped. If you cook for the longer time then the meat should easily shred without chopping. It is very difficult to “overcook” as long as you keep the heat low, the roast covered, and liquid in the pan.
Getting The Pork Skin Crispy
Once meat is tender, remove foil from pan and let broil about 5 to 10 minutes, or until skin is crisp and crackling.
Transfer pernil to a serving platter and let rest.
Serve Pernil Pork Roast With Au Jus Sauce
Pour juices from roasting pan into a sauce pan and reduce over medium high heat. This can be used as an au jus sauce for the pork.
Serve the roasted pork with stewed red beans and rice. Pernil also goes great with pollo guisado.
About: This recipe is a featured entree from Chef David Earl and served as part of our Sweet 16 Birthday Menu at the Wesley Center in Clermont.