Pernil Asado - Puerto Rica


Christmas celebrations start very early on in December and can last up until halfway through January in some cases.

Pernil Asado is served as part of the main course of many Puerto Rican Christmas dinners and all sorts of other celebrations held throughout the year. 

Prep time: Pork needs marinating overnight
Cook time: 5-6 hours
Serves: 8

9 lbs pork shoulder, on the bone        
20 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp dried oregano
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp cumin
60ml extra virgin olive oil
60ml white wine vinegar
1 tbsp finely chopped olives
1 tsp finely chopped capers
2 tsp salt
450ml orange juice
450ml lime juice
1 bay leaf
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
450ml chicken stock        


  • The night before serving, use a pestle and mortar to crush together the garlic, oregano, black pepper and cumin.
  • Add the olive oil, vinegar, olives, capers and salt and 2 tbsp of the orange juice. Mix well until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.
  • Using a knife, cut small, deep holes into the pork, and spread the mixture until the pork is covered. Place in a roasting dish and pour in the remaining orange juice and lime juice. Cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight.
  • On the day of serving, preheat the oven to 200C, remove the pork from the refrigerator and allow to rest until it is brought to room temperature.
  • Add the chicken stock to the baking dish and cook uncovered for one hour.
  • Reduce the temperature to 150C, cover and cook for another 4 hours.
  • Remove from the oven and leave the pork to rest.
  • Meanwhile, pour the juices from the baking dish into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook gently for 10-15 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
  • Serve the pork with the marinade.