Puerto Rican Pernil (Roasted Pork) Recipe

When you start to cook the Pernil (Roasted Pork), your whole house is going to smell delicious.

Puerto Rican Pork Recipe
Puerto Rican Pork Recipe
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In many Latin American countries, Pernil (Roasted Pork) is prepared on various special occasions throughout the year. It is the main dish that accompanies the table during the Christmas celebrations. Each country or region has its own way of preparing this delicious roasted pork dish.

This is not a quick recipe and you will need a minimum of 8 hours to properly prepare and cook this dish. But the best part of the Pernil is the crispy, crunchy skin.

How to Store Pernil

Roasted Pork will keep for two to three days in the fridge. Any longer than three days and it’s best to store it in the freezer, where it will keep for up to six months.

I learned to make the Puerto Rican Pernil with my brother’s wife along with the famous Arroz con Gandules (rice with pigeon peas). Now, I’m ready to teach you step-by-step, the best recipe for Puerto Rican Pernil.

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Puerto Rican Pork Recipe

Puerto Rican Pork Recipe

Recipe Author : Mike Gonzalez
What a sweet life! In a blink of an eye, we find ourselves immersed in the holiday season. Christmas time to me represents traditions, joy, family unity, gifts, great music from Latin America, and above all, the chance to prepare the traditional dishes of the season.

Please Rate this Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours
Total Time 7 hours 20 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Caribbean, Puerto Rican
Servings 15 portions
Calories 420 kcal


  • 1 whole bone-in skinless pork shank 16 to 18 lb
  • 1 medium red onion cut into thin wedges


  • 6 tbsp ground cumin
  • 6 tbsp all-purpose Peruvian seasoning aji peruano or ancho chile powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp salt
  • 10 cloves garlic peeled, crushed
  • cup fresh lime juice


  • Heat oven to 325°F. Using a long narrow knife, cut about twelve 2-inch deep slits in pork. Place onion wedge in each slit.
  • In a medium bowl, mix rub ingredients to form a paste. Using hands, rub the entire pork shank with paste, working rub into meat. Place pork on a large rack in a roasting pan.
  • Bake 6 1/2 to 7 hours, basting with pan juices after 2 hours, every 30 minutes, until meat reaches an internal temperature of 145°F. Let stand for about 20 minutes before cutting into thin slices.


Ancho chile powder can be found at most grocery stores. It has a rich pungent flavor.


Calories: 420kcal
Keyword Pork
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