The Best Puerto Rican Pernil (Pork Shoulder)

Recipe by Joanne
READY IN: 10hrs 30mins




  • Make the marinade:
  • In medium bowl, combine garlic, lime juice, oregano, soy sauce, olive oil and salt and black pepper. Set aside.
  • Wash the pernil in vinegar and water, pat dry with paper towel.
  • Place on a cutting board fat side up.
  • Leaving the fat in a single piece and attached at one end, use a knife to remove the layer of fat from the shoulder, opening it like a book to reveal the meat. Then, use the knife to poke 1-inch deep holes into the meat on all sides (about 20 holes).
  • Place pernil in roasting pan skin side up. Rub the marinade all over the pernil, making sure you work it into to the holes. Return the skin back to its original position. Score the skin with diagonal cuts and sprinkle salt to taste over the skin.
  • Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.
  • On day of Cooking:
  • Remove pernil from refrigerator 45 minutes before roasting.
  • Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
  • Add a little water to the roasting pan so that it comes up about 1/2 inch up the sides.
  • Cook pernil uncovered for 1 hour. Turn oven temperature down to 225 degrees F, tent pernil loosely with aluminum foil, and cook for 8 hours. Remove foil and cook for 1 hour.
  • Let pernil rest for 10 minutes before slicing.