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Pernil (Roast Pork Shoulder) 2


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Rate this recipe 4.5/5 (15 Votes)


  • 1 (6 pound)) fresh pork shoulder
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 cups water (to add to roasting pan)


Servings 12
Adapted from


Step 1

Take half of your garlic cloves and slice each one lengthwise, once or twice. Place aside.

Rinse the pork under cold running water.

Prepare the Adobo Rub:

Add the whole garlic cloves (not the ones that you sliced!) to a mortar and pestle. Grind them for a minute or two. Add the olive oil. Stir and mash again. Add the salt, black pepper, oregano and the vinegar. Stir this and grind a little more. It should have a course, but liquid consistency.

Prepare the Meat:

Using a knife, make incisions in the meat, approximately 1 inch wide, and 1-2 inches deep. Make a total of 20-30 slits on all sides of the pernil. Insert a slice of garlic in each slit.

Take the adobo rub that you prepared in the mortar and pestle, and rub all over the pork.

Marinate the meat:

Cover the pernil in its roasting pan, or a plastic container, and place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight. (Or at least a few hours). Note: Do not marinate it in an aluminum pan, since the vinegar in the adobo rub will react with it).

Prepare to cook:

Remove the pernil from the refrigerator about 1 hour before you wish to start cooking it, to allow it to start coming up to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F), and adjust the oven rack so that it is in the middle, or just below, the middle level.

Once the oven is preheated, unwrap the pernil (if you had wrapped it with plastic).

Cover the pernil loosely with aluminum foil, or with the roasting pan cover.

Place 2 cups of water into the roasting pan, and place the pan on the middle rack in the oven.

Cook the pernil for 3 to 3½ Hours.

After 2 hours of cooking, uncover and baste the roast with a large spoon or turkey baster.

Resume cooking, uncovered, for the rest of the cooking time. Baste every 30 minutes.

If you start running out of basting juices, just add another cup or two of water to the pan.

A cooking thermometer, inserted deep into the meat, reads 185-190 degrees (F).

Once the pernil is done, remove from oven and let it rest 15 minutes before carving. This lets it cool slightly, and allows the remaining juices to stay within the roast.

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