Roasted Pork Shoulder

(Pernil de Cerdo al Horno)

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The Roasted Pork Shoulder is often prepared during the Christmas Holidays and served with pasteles (root vegetables/starchy fruit dough filled with pork) and arroz con gandules (rice with green pigeon peas).   The key to a flavorful, moist and tender pork shoulder roast is marinating the pork roast overnight with a wet rub that consist of olive oil, vinegar, garlic, dried herbs and spices.  The skin of the roasted pork shoulder is served very crispy.

I truly believe that we celebrate the world’s longest Christmas Holiday in Puerto Rico.  We start celebrating Christmas during the week of Thanksgiving until after the The Three Kings Day (Epiphany on January 6th).  Our Christmas celebration is continued for eight (8) more days (known as Octavitas) after The Three Kings Day.   At this time during the Christmas Holidays, we prepare a lot of pork meat, rice with green pigeon peas and enjoy our version of Christmas caroling known as “parrandas.”  The parrandas are a group of friends and/or family that come to your house unannounced at various times of the day or night to sing Christmas carols while playing with our traditional instruments.

What is a Pestle and Mortar!

The pestle and mortar (known as pilón) is a kitchen tool mainly used in our culture for mixing and/or grinding herbs, garlic, spices, starchy fruits and root vegetables for various food preparations.  The Taíno Indians invented the pestle and mortar by using material from nearby trees.  However, their pestles and mortars were much larger and were used to mash corn, grind spices and blend medicinal herbs.

Let’s Start Preparing the Wet Rub!

Add chopped garlic cloves in the mortar.

Now add the salt and dried oregano to mortar.  

The last dry ingredient to add to the mortar is the black pepper.

Grind the ingredients with the pestle until well blended.

Let’s Now Add the Liquid Ingredients!

Pour the extra virgin olive oil and white vinegar.  Blend ingredients well with pestle until a paste is formed.

We just finished preparing the marinade for the pork shoulder roast.   The marinade has a thick paste consistency.  

It’s Time to Score and Apply the Marinade to the Pork Shoulder Roast!

Score the surface of skin by making approximately 1-inch slit wide and 1-inch deep.  

Fill the each slit with the marinating paste.  

Once all the slits are filled with the marinade, rub the top of pork roast with a small amount of the marinade.

Turn pork shoulder roast to the other side and rub the with remaining marinade.  

Place the pork shoulder roast skin side up in a roasting pan.  Insert meat thermometer in center of pork roast away from the bone.  Cover with lid and place in the refrigerator overnight.

It’s Time to Cook the Pork Shoulder Roast!

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Remove pork roast from refrigerator and place in the oven, covering roasting pan with lid.  Cook until meat thermometer registers the adequate temperature for pork.  If not using a meat thermometer, cook 30 minutes for each pound of pork shoulder roast.   For instance, if you have an eight (8) pound pork shoulder roast, it will take approximately 4 hours to cook the pork meat.

When the roasted pork shoulder is done cooking, remove the lid and cook the pork shoulder for an additional 30 minutes or until the skin becomes golden brown and crispy to your liking.   Place roasted pork shoulder in a large bowl.

We normally do not serve the roasted pork shoulder in slices.  It is usually served in chunks.

The roasted pork shoulder is normally served with a “pastel” (root vegetables/starchy fruit dough filled with pork) and rice with green pigeon peas especially during the Christmas Holidays!

Click on the button below to watch my YouTube video on How to Prepare Roasted Pork Shoulder!

Recipe and Nutritional Facts

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only.  Please refer to our Nutritional Facts Disclaimer for more information.

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Roasted Pork Shoulder


  • Author: Aida's Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 5 Hours
  • Total Time: 5 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 Servings 1x

Description

The key to a flavorful, moist and tender pork shoulder roast is marinating the pork roast overnight with a wet rub to allow the spices, herbs and liquids to soak inside the meat!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 bone-in pork shoulder roast, 8 to 9 pounds

Marinating Ingredients:

  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 8 teaspoons salt (low sodium)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1½ tablespoons white vinegar

Instructions

  1. In a mortar and pestle, crush together the garlic, black pepper, salt and oregano.
  2. Add olive oil and white vinegar.  Blend ingredients well with pestle until a paste is formed.
  3. Heat oven to 350°F.  Score surface of skin with 1-inch wide slits and 1-inch deep.
  4. Fill each slit with marinade and rub entire pork roast with remaining marinating paste.
  5. Place pork roast in roasting pan and insert a meat thermometer.  Cover with lid and place in refrigerator overnight
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Remove roasting pan with lid from refrigerator and place in oven.
  7. Cook pork shoulder roast until meat thermometer registers the adequate temperature.
  8. To crisp the skin, remove lid and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the skin becomes golden brown and crispy to your liking.

Notes

If you are not using a meat thermometer, cook 30 minutes for each pound of pork shoulder roast.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Puerto Rican

Keywords: Roasted Pork Shoulder

Nutritional Facts Disclaimer

 

Category: Dinner, Featured, Recipes

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