How to Make Spanish-Style Pork Shoulder (Pernil) for the Holidays

Pernil is a holiday dish made of a well-seasoned pork shoulder cooked so that the center is juicy and moist with a crispy crust. This pernil recipe incorporates adobo seasoning, a seasoning blend that includes spices popular in Latino cooking such as garlic and oregano. Leave the fat on the pork shoulder to ensure that the meat stays moist during its long cooking time.

Things You'll Need

  • 8-lbs. pork shoulder
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp. ground oregano
  • 2 tsp. adobo seasoning blend
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil


    • 1

      Place the 8-lbs. pork shoulder into a roasting pan, with its fatty side up. Puncture the surface of the meat with a fork.

    • 2

      Mix together in a small bowl: 4 minced cloves of garlic, salt and pepper to taste, 1 tsp. ground oregano, 2 tsp. adobo seasoning blend and 2 tbsp. olive oil. Combine, crushing the garlic, until a paste has formed. Rub the paste into the punctures of the meat. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight.

    • 3

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the plastic wrap from the pork shoulder and replace it with aluminum foil. Cook for 3 1/2 to 5 hours, checking the meat every 30 minutes after the 3 1/2 hour mark. Remove foil when the pork is nearly done and allow to cook for another 20 to 30 minutes to become crispy on the surface. Serve hot on a platter with carving utensils.

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