Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pernil Al Horno (Roasted Pork Shoulder)

Tonight the moon is set to rise bigger and brighter than any other night. In a rare lunar event the moon tonight will appear as much as 14% wider and 30% brighter.  The downside, it's cloudy in my neck of the woods tonight that I was not able to get a peek at it.

Now the upside of this beautiful saturday evening...

I've been wanting to make the Pernil Al Horno by Tyler Florence for months now.  The problem is, pork shoulder is not always available at the grocery stores I frequent.  But today I got lucky to find it at my local Ralphs on sale for $9, that's $2 a pound, hence it was a spur of the moment recipe for dinner.  Thankfully I went to the market early in the day and had enough time to marinade the meat then cook for 3 hours.  (You see I have not been so lucky these days). The ingredients are few and simple, and it's a plus that I have fresh oregano growing in my patio.

The flavors were out of this world, the meat was succulent and the crispy skin was to die for (watch your cholesterol!).

It was a hit!  Who would have thought the roast cost only $9?   The meat was huge for the three of us but we thought we can use the leftovers for sandwiches and as topings for our ramens.


Pernil Al Horno (Roasted Pork Shoulder)


  • 1 bone-in pork shoulder picnic roast (about 4-4.5 pounds), skin on
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 cup fresh oregano
  • 4 tablespoons Kosher salt (1 teaspoon for every pound of meat)
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar


Mash together garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper into a paste using a mortar and pestle; stir in oil and vinegar.
Using a sharp knife, score the surface of the meat with small slits.   Rub the garlic paste all over the pork, being sure to get into the incisions so the salt can penetrate the meat and pull out the moisture - this will help form a crust on the outside when cooked.

Place pork in a ceramic container, cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.
Allow the meat to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Place the pork in a  roasting pan fitted with a rack insert and put it in the oven.

Roast the pork for 3 hours, uncovered. For the last 30-40 minutes blast the temperature up to 400 degrees F for a crispy-brown skin.

 Let the meat rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes before slicing.

Bon Appetit!

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