Seasoned » Recipes » Recipe

Pernil

Pernil excerpted from Diasporican: A Puerto Rican Cookbook by Illyanna Maisonet.

This two-day method is one of my nana’s recipes that I don’t stray from. I puncture the pork shoulder all over and insert a gargantuan number of whole garlic cloves into each slit. I rub the pork with a mixture of olive oil, sazón, and heaps of oregano. I purchase my pork shoulder only at the same neighborhood market where my grandma purchased hers. And I make pernil only for Christmas. Nothing reminds me of my grandma more—and nothing brings me to tears quicker—than the smell of rendered pork fat, oregano, and garlic as it fills up the house.

Pernil excerpted from Diasporican: A Puerto Rican Cookbook by Illyanna Maisonet.

Pernil

Illyanna Maisonet
It takes 6 to 7 hours to cook pernil, largely unattended, plus the time to marinate overnight. You can cover and store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days, and use it to make sandwiches.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Latin American, Puerto Rican
Servings 8 -10 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (7-to 9-pound) bone-in pork shoulder or butt
  • 10 -15 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons sazón 
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • The night before cooking, using a small paring knife, poke ten to fifteen holes in the pork shoulder and stuff a garlic clove into each one. Rub the olive oil all over the pork, then thoroughly massage the shoulder with the oregano and sazón. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Place the pork in a roasting pan and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  • Roast the pork shoulder, basting every hour, for 5 to 6 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Then turn the oven temperature to 400°F, arrange the pork shoulder skin-side up, and roast for 1 hour more.
  • Let the pork rest for about 15 minutes, giving the skin a chance to crisp. Cut into large chunks, but please don’t finely shred the pork.
  • Serve the pernil immediately.

Notes

Diasporican: A Puerto Rican Cookbook by Illyanna Maisonet (© 2022). Photography copyright © 2022 by Erika P. Rodriguez and Dan Liberti. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.Recipe reprinted with permission from Diasporican: A Puerto Rican Cookbook by Illyanna Maisonet (‎Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, 2022). Photography by Erika P. Rodriguez and Dan Liberti.
Keyword Diasporican: A Puerto Rican Cookbook, Illyanna Maisonet, Pernil, Pork, Sazón

Follow Us

Stand up for civility

This recipe is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.