Pernil - Puerto Rican Roast Pork

Pernil is a traditional Puerto Rican dish served during Christmas consisting of a pork shoulder slow roasted into a delicacy. Marinated with spices, garlic and slow-roasted to a brown and crispy perfection. If you like your pork tender and juicy with a crispy skin on top this is the recipe for you.

Pernil - Puerto Rican Roast Pork

  • Adobo : 1 tbsps
  • Black Pepper : 1 tbsps
  • Chicken stock (or water) : Enough for an inch on the bottom of your baking pan
  • Dried Oregano : Optional - but a drizzle will do
  • Fresh Oregano Leaves or Cilantro :
  • Garlic Clove : 10 (comes down to preference)
  • Green Bell Pepper : 1 or 2
  • Ground Cumin : 3 tbsps
  • Ground Tumeric : 2 tbsps
  • Kosher Salt : 2 tbsps
  • Lemon or Orange : 1
  • Olive Oil : 1/2 cup
  • Pork Shoulder (Skin on) : 4 lbs
  • White Onion : 1






  • Cut the fat cap from your meat while leaving it attached.
  • Combine your oil, onion, garlic (don't use all your cloves!), squeezed juice from your lemon or orange, cumin, salt, pepper, adobo, fresh cilantro or oregano, green bell pepper and either pestle and mortar until it's a paste or use your food processor until blended thoroughly
  • Cut holes 2 inches deep into your pork shoulder spaced out evenly across the meat
  • Insert garlic cloves into the holes
  • Brush or rub the marinade sazon you created with your pestle or processor throughout the meat ensuring it is covered and penetrating the holes on the shoulder
  • Allow to marinate over night (At least 4 hours)
  • 30 Minutes prior to cooking remove your pork from the fridge to start returning it to room temperature
  • With your shoulder in the baking pan, add chicken stock (or water) so it is an inch deep surrounding the meat
  • Cover the pan with tin foil in preparation of braising the meat
  • With the oven at 400F Degrees place your pork inside for 3 hours (Approximately 2.5 to 3 hours per 4 pounds of pork) or until tender
  • Remove the tin foild and return to the oven until the skin is browned and crispy (Approximately 1 hour)
  • Remove from the oven and let the rest for around 10 minutes
  • Enjoy!