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Roasted Pork (Pernil) Recipe

With New Year’s around the corner, it is our tradition to make this pernil recipe as part of our celebration. This melt-in-your-mouth, succulent, and hearty pernil will not disappoint. A definite must-try!

Note: This recipe requires prep time, so plan ahead.


8-9 pounds of pork shoulder (bone-in)

8 cloves garlic, minced

4 teaspoons dried oregano

2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 of sofrito (To make: ½ of yellow onion, ½ bell pepper, ½ green pepper, 4 cloves of garlic, 1 handful of cilantro, 1 handful of culantro – a cousin of cilantro. If you can’t find it, you can omit and ⅓ cup of water)

3 tablespoons olive oil

5 limes, quartered (optional)

For more recipes, like this one, buy “A Collection of Seasonal Recipes” Digital Cookbook, here.


  • In a food processor or blender, rough chop and blend onion, bell pepper, green pepper, four garlic cloves of garlic, a handful of fresh cilantro & culantro, and water until it forms a smooth paste. Set aside.
  • Rinse the pork shoulder under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels.
  • In a small bowl, combine garlic, 2 tbsp of salt, oregano, black pepper, sofrito, and olive oil to create the seasoning. Pro Tip: Use a mortar and pestle, if you have one on hand, instead of mincing your garlic and combine ingredients that way.
  • On the skin side, cut the skin creating a flap. Make sure not to detach it completely. This flap will be seasoned separately.
  • Using a sharp knife, make deep incisions all over the pork, both on all sides. These incisions will allow the flavors to penetrate the meat. Make sure to pull the skin flap back and NOT to cut into it.
  • Rub the seasoning mixture thoroughly into the incisions on both sides, ensuring it reaches deep into the meat.
  • Season the skin flap by rubbing the remaining kosher salt onto it.
  • Secure the Skin Flap by using metal skewers to secure it back in place. This prevents the skin from shrinking during the cooking process.
  • Cover the seasoned pork with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the refrigerator overnight (if not at least 4 hrs).
  • Remove pork shoulder from the refrigerator about 2 hours before roasting to allow it to come to room temperature.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).
  • Place the pork, skin side up in a roasting pan and roast in the preheated oven for about 4 to 4.5 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 190-195 degrees Fahrenheit (88-90 degrees Celsius). To crisp the skin increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees Fahrenheit for the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  • Once done, remove the pork shoulder from the oven and let it rest for at least 20 minutes before shredding.
  • Shred and serve with lime (optional).


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