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Puerto Rican Pork Shoulder Recipe

Pernil ~ Slow-Cooked Pork Roast

Mike Gonzalez
Roasted pork shoulder bliss, here you come. All it takes are a handful of spices and a few simple techniques to make this authentic Puerto Rican dish more delicious than ever!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Refrigeration Time 4 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Caribbean, Puerto Rican
Servings 8 people


  • 1 pork shoulder (8 – 9 lbs.) bone-in and skin-on
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 2 tsp adobo seasoning
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 packets sazón
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt


  • In a bowl, mix together the olive oil, garlic, Adobo, lemon juice, sazon, oregano and black pepper; set aside.
    ¼ cup olive oil, 1 tbsp garlic, 2 tsp adobo seasoning, 2 tsp lemon juice, 2 packets sazón, 1 tsp oregano, ¼ tsp black pepper
  • Using a small, sharp knife, make a cut on the side of the roast where the skin meets the flesh. Continue cutting, separating the skin from the flesh, leaving one end of the skin attached. Using the knife, make ½” deep incisions in the flesh, under the skin.
    1 pork shoulder
  • Place the pork on a tray. Using your hands, rub the spice mixture over the flesh, pushing some of the mixture into the cuts. Place the skin on top of the meat; wipe the skin clean. Rub skin with salt. Cover tray with plastic wrap; transfer to the refrigerator to marinate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
    1 tsp salt
  • Heat oven to 350°F. Transfer pork, skin side-up, to roasting pan; bring to room temperature, about 1 hour. Pat the skin dry. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil.
  • Cook pork until meat is fork-tender and internal temperature registers 145°F, 3 - 3½ hours; discard foil.
  • Increase oven to 450°F. Cook pork, uncovered, adding water in ¼ cup measures if pan becomes dry, check the pan every 10 minutes. Cook until the skin is brown and crisp, 20 - 35 minutes.
  • Transfer pork to cutting board and let it rest 20 minutes. Remove the skin and cut it into pieces. Drain fat from drippings. Cut meat from the bone. Serve with skin and pan juices.


Crispy, Crunchy Chicharrón:
After cutting the skin off the pork, if you find the skin isn’t as crispy as you’d like, simply transfer it to a foil-lined baking sheet, increase the oven temperature to broil, and cook, rotating the pan once, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Then, discard foil and oil.
Keyword Pork