Recipe courtesy of Mark Bittman
Pernil
Total:
3 hr 25 min
Active:
10 min
Yield:
At least 6 servings
Level:
Intermediate
Total:
3 hr 25 min
Active:
10 min
Yield:
At least 6 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients

  • 1 (4- to 7-pound) pork shoulder or use fresh ham
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 4 or more cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves or 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ancho or other mild chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon wine or cider vinegar
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Directions

Heat the oven to 300 degrees F. Score meat's skin with a sharp knife, making a cross-hatch pattern. Pulse onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, chile, salt, and pepper together in a food processor, adding oil in a drizzle and scraping down sides as necessary, until mixture is pasty. Alternatively, mash ingredients in a mortar and pestle. Blend in the vinegar. Rub this mixture well into pork, getting it into every nook and cranny. Put pork in a roasting pan and film bottom with water. Roast pork for several hours, a 4-pound shoulder may be done in 3 hours, turning every hour or so and adding more water as necessary, until meat is very tender. Finish roasting with the skin-side up until crisp, raising heat at end of cooking, if necessary. Let meat rest for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting it up; meat should be so tender that cutting it into uniform slices is almost impossible; rather, whack it up into chunks. Serve with lime.

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