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Pernil (Puerto Rican Pork Shoulder)


  • 8lbs picnic pork shoulder
  • 12minced garlic cloves
  • 1 1⁄2teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1⁄2teaspoon black pepper
  • 3tablespoons olive oil
  • 3tablespoons white vinegar
  • 8teaspoons salt (or 1 teaspoon of salt per pound of meat if you are using a smaller cut of meat)


  • Wash the pork shoulder.
  • With a sharp knife, make 1 inch deep cuts into the pork.
  • With mortar and pestle crush garlic, oregano and black pepper together. Add olive oil, vinegar and salt. Mix well.
  • Spoon some of the garlic mixture inside the small cuts around the pork, and spread remaining mixture all over the pork.
  • Place pork in an aluminum turkey pan (skin side up); cover with aluminum foil tightly. Refrigerate at least 8 hours. (I have marinated this for as long as two days.).
  • Bake in pre-heated 325 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 5 to 6 hours.
  • Remove aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for another hour or until skin is crisp. Closely watch this so you don’t burn the skin (chicharrone).
  • Pork should be well-done and tender.


  • Erin R.

    Oh, INCREDIBLE pork roast. I saw this recipe over on Tasty Kitchen and just made it today, and it is the most perfect pork I have ever eaten. I used half the salt and cooked it in the crockpot on low while we were at work, and it was just swimming in juice and falling apart when we got home. My husband went nuts. He had some on noodles and I had some on a sourdough bun, and we both had to stop ourselves from taking more than we needed. An absolute keeper, and highly recommended.

  • GetFitwithJuju

    I made two pernils following this recipe last thursday, and it was great! I gave one to my parents and the other had it for my family. I followed the directions with just adding a little more garlic, and marinated it for two days. I cooked them at 350 degrees each for 2 and a half ( my pernils were 4.5 pounds) and then i put the temp higher to 450 degrees for another hour to crisp the skin. It came out great! Next time, i will add a packet of sazon for each pernil. Thank you for the recipe.

  • 909692

    This was the best pork roast that I ever made! My roast was 4lbs and I cooked for about 3.5 hrs. I followed the recipe except used apple cider vinegar because that’s all I had.

  • MagsMeals

    This was incredibly delicious. I used a small, <3 lb. roast, and marinated it only 3 hours. I used 6 cloves of garlic instead of 12, but the rest of the ingredients were as written. I cooked it at 300 for 3 hours, covered and then at 350 for 45 min. uncovered. Very moist and tender.

  • knaylor76

    Yummers. I made this for a family get together. I made it exactly as posted with no deviation. Once the meat was done, and I had let it cool down, I shredded it with 2 forks, and used it to make Cuban sandwiches. Everyone raved about it. I also had a fat bowl of it once everyone left, hehehe. Oh yeah, and the chicharrone is irresistible.

  • Cheeseburger in Paradise

    This is the BEST pork I have EVER had. My husband said he could just stand there and eat the whole thing. We used the meat to make cuban sandwiches. My husband grew up in Florida and loves cuban sandwiches. I will NEVER use another recipe for pork should again. I marinated this for 2 days (partly because I forgot to put it in the oven before we left for the day…Im so glad that I did!!) THIS IS THE ONE FOR ME!!!!!!!!!! Thank you!! Update: Nov. 8th, 2008 I have continued to make this pork as often as I can. I have made it for my extended family too, sister and her husband and my mom and dad and it has now become (especially my mom) their favorite pork recipe!! Im telling you this has become my sunday pot roast!!!

  • boopadoop51

    this is almost exactly how My Grandma (who is born in PR) and I make it, but we add 2 things extra achiote oil and sofrito. To make achiote oil heat olive oil the add annato seeds ( it must turn the color of a sunset)immediately remove seeds. Then sofrito is a more complicated process to those holes. Mmmm…Yummy!

  • Metritek

    This is just the best pork recipe I have ever tasted. I followed the directions exactly as stated. I am just not sure what cut of meat I had but it said picnic on it. Even a terrible cook like me could not ruin this roast. Thank you so much for posting.

  • kierot

    By FAR the best roast pork I have ever had, and I am a roast pork fanatic. Incredibly juicy and flavorful. Make sure to take the foil off to get the skin crisp, it makes all the difference. I make this for everyone now.

  • ShayOliver

    Call it what you want (I know…technically it’s Pernil. My boyfriend is Puerto Rican too!) – but I call it the “5 hours of torture roast”. It fills the house with such a tantalizing aroma that you swear you will lose your mind obsessing over the timer! Thanks for posting this. Awesome!