Puerto Rican Roast Pork Shoulder

Total Time
4hrs 20mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 4 hrs

This recipe is for a bone-in pork shoulder, or pernil. It is marinated in a garlicky paste for 1 to 3 days; the longer the better. Unlike other recipes in the database, it is cooked at a relatively high heat so that the result is a tender roast with crispy crackling or chicharons. Adapted from Daisy Martinez. Cooking time is approximate. The original recipe called for a 4.5 lb pork shoulder. The smallest I found was 8.5 lbs.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and the salt to form a paste.
  2. Add the pepper and oregano and pound well to incorporate; stir in the olive oil and vinegar, this called a wet adobo which will keep in the refrigerator for 5 or 6 days.
  3. Place the roast skin side up and make several slits, about 1 1/2 inches long and as deep as possible; spoon some wet adobo into the slit.
  4. Turn roast and do the same with the other sides, then rub the adobo all over.
  5. Refrigerate, covered for at least one day, up to 3.
  6. Turn once a day.
  7. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  8. Roast, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting pan for 1 hour; reduce heat to 400 degrees F and roast until the skin is deep golden and crackly (160 degrees on an internal meat thermometer), about 3 hours.
  9. Let rest at least 15 minutes before carving.
  10. Remove the crispy skin and cut into smaller pieces (you can use kitchen shears).
  11. Carve the meat, parallel to the bone, all the way through to the bone.


Most Helpful

I followed the seasoning directions, but I cooked it at 425 for 1 hour and then 325 for the remainder of the cooking time, which was about 7 hours total. The meat was moist and flavorful!

cuccina mia January 17, 2016

i didnt want to have to cook the pork for that long,i jumped when i seen this one,bravo to u,it tastes just like i remember in the Bronx nyc

Heather D. February 12, 2014

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