Pernil (Pork Shoulder)

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This pork shoulder recipe, more commonly known among Latinos as pernil, is a dish heavily marinated with garlic. Traditionally served on special occasions, it is sure to please a crowd. The aroma of this recipe reminds me of my childhood. You just knew something special was happening if there was a pork shoulder in the oven

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  • 7-8 pounds pork shoulder (bone-in)
  • 20 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups chicken stock


  1. In a blender, combine garlic, oregano, black peppercorns, cumin and salt till it turns to paste.
  2. Then add olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice Mix well.
  3. With a sharp knife, make a few one inch deep cuts on all sides of the pork.
  4. Spoon some of the garlic mixture inside the small cuts around the pork, and spread remaining mixture all over the pork. Place in a roasting pan (fat side up), cover and marinate in the refrigerator 1-3 days to let the flavors infuse.
  5. Remove pork from the refrigerator and let it rest on counter in order to remove the chill while preheating oven to 400 degrees. Add 2 cups of chicken stock to the roasting pan and place pork shoulder in the lowest part of preheated oven. Roast uncovered for one hour, then reduce temperature to 300 degrees, and roast for an additional 4-5 hours or until thermometer reads 160°.
  6. To crisp fat, raise temp to 425 degrees for an additional 20-30 minutes. Check periodically to ensure top does not burn.
  7. Let pork rest for 30 minutes before serving.
  8. Break into pieces and transfer to a serving platter.
  9. Drain juices from roasting into a gravy bowl and pour some over the pork.

Serves 8

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Categories: Christmas, Dominican, Entrees, Thanksgiving

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