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Pernil Asado (Roasted Pork Shoulder)

  • Author: Christina E. Peña
  • Prep Time: 15min
  • Cook Time: 300min
  • Total Time: 5 hours 15 minutes


  • 1 pork shoulder with skin on approx 10lbs
  • 2 heads of garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 45 lemons or limes (juiced)
  • LOTS of salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (to taste)


  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  • Peel and mince the garlic. You can also use a garlic press or an old school pilon or mortar & pestle. Anyway you prefer works just fine.
  • In a bowl combine the garlic with salt and the juice from lemon or lime. Don’t be shy with the salt. It is very hard for it to come out salty. Trust me. 4. Place the pork into an oven safe pan and turn the pork over so the meat side is facing up.
  • Cut small holes in the meat and stuff each hole with the garlic mixture. DO NOT under any circumstance cut holes in the skin.
  • After each hole is stuffed, pour the remaining mixture on top and rub the meat side with a little dried oregano and sprinkle some cumin if you like that. I use very little cumin because too much will overpower the meat and make it into a different dish.
  • Turn the meat over so the skin side is up. Dry it completely with paper towel. You don’t want it to be wet at all. No cuts. No wetness. Nothing.
  • Cook for approximately 3 hours at 300 degrees.
  • Turn up the oven 25 degrees every half hour until 350 and then cook until the meat is soft and when you poke it no juice comes out.
  • Once done, take it out and let it rest. Do not cover it.
  • After the meat has rested and cooled slightly take the skin off and leave on the side. The skin should be hard and make sound when you scrape your fork against it. The meat should be so soft that it falls off the bone.


The cook time will vary depending on how large the pork shoulder is. The general rule of thumb is 5 hours for a 10lb pork shoulder however, sometimes it will take longer. You will want to check it periodically for doneness. If you are cooking 2 porks at once, the cook time will be longer.
You will want to dump out the juices every 30-60 minutes so it doesn’t accumulate in the and you can get a crispy bottom. Please be careful when doing this since the juices are very hot and you could get burned. If necessary, ask for help.

  • Cuisine: Latin
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