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Slow Cooked Pork (Pernil)

This pernil goes a very long way and is inexpensive.  The meat is so juicy and just falls off the bones.  We take advantage of the leftovers and make Cuban sandwiches the next day (Post coming soon!).  It takes a bit of time but I promise it's worth the wait!

Prep time:  30 minutes + 24-36 hours for marinating
Cooking time:  6-7 hours
Yield:  10-12 servings

6-8 pound Pork shoulder (Picnic)
6 Oranges
2-3 Limes
2 tablespoons Coarse salt
1 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Crushed black pepper
1 tablespoon Cumin

5-6 Garlic cloves, chopped
1 large Shallot, chopped
Large bucket or a container large enough to marinate pork

Wash pork. Leaving skin side down make deep cuts all over meat with large knife.
(Be careful not to cut or stab yourself in this process.)  Insert 1/2 the amount of chopped garlic into cuts.

In large bucket or container add juice from oranges and limes, salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, shallots, and remaining chopped garlic.  Mix all ingredients well.  Add the pork to bucket or container and cover pork with all ingredients.  Leave skin side up, meat side down in marinade for 24 to 36 hours in refrigerator.

When you are ready to cook pork, preheat oven at 425° F.  Make sure you have a large and deep enough baking pan to hold pork and juice.  (Keep in mind the pork will release more juice.)  Place skin side up and pour half the marinade into the pan.  I like to place a piece of parchment paper large enough to cover top of pork and then cover baking pan with aluminum foil.

Bake at 425° F for one hour.  Drop oven temperature to 275° F and cook for an additional 5 hours.  Uncover the pork and raise oven temperature to 400° F.  Continue baking pork for 40 minutes or until the pork skin becomes hard and crispy.  I check by using a butter knife and tap the skin to see if it's crispy.

Remove pork from oven and let sit covered for 30 minutes before serving.

To serve, transfer pork from baking pan by pulling pork apart with a set of tongs or two forks.  The meat should be falling off the bones.  Spoon some of the juice over the pork and serve hot.


  1. This is one beautiful slow cooked pork roast. A perfect main dish for Christmas.
    I love all your previous recipes and photos, as well.
    I printed out your flan recipe, really yummy, and pretty presentation in a square shape!

  2. Thank you Elisabeth. Your comments mean a lot to me. I love to cook and this dish is one of my favorites. Especially love the next day when I can make sandwiches with the pork! Let me know how you liked the flan. It's so easy. I think you will love it!

  3. Anonymous12/01/2010

    I have had the great opportunity to have this delicious meal prepared by Kat several times. It is one of my favorites and the cuban sandwiches are just as yummy!!!

  4. This was your best pernil yet Kat!!! 2 Thumbs Up!!

  5. Thanks Gina! It was made with much LOVE and gratitude for all the good friends and family i have!

  6. ah... the cuban sandwiches! yes, they are the best part of making this pernil! the leftovers! hence my next post!

  7. Hi we just threw this together, but in the ingredient list it calls for oil and there is not any mention of oil in the directions. Does it go in the marinade or is it for the pork when you cook it? Thanks!

    1. Leslie... dont use the oil. I will remove it from the ingredient list. Doesn't need it. Thanks