← Back to Search Results
roasting Latin American
Puerto Rican Roast Pork Shoulder Recipe-3973

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0



If you were to ask me, “What does Christmas smell like?” I wouldn’t say “pine” or “fresh snow,” I would say, “Pernil.” By the time my kids finish their cereal on Christmas Eve morning, the house is filled with the wonderful aroma of roast pork.

You want the shoulder, not the butt, for this, and you definitely want the skin on. If you have the opportunity to marinate the roast for three days, two days, or even overnight, you’ll be rewarded with a roast that has juicy, fragrant, tender meat and crispy, salty, mahogany-colored skin. It’s so good, I’m almost afraid I have to bring it up in confession!

Yield: Makes 8 large servings plus leftovers


  • One 4½-pound skin-on pork shoulder roast


1. Up to 3 days before you serve the roast, set it in a bowl, skin side up. With a paring or boning knife, make several slits about ½ inches apart through the skin of the roast and into the meat. Make the slits as deep as you can. Wiggle a finger in the slits to open them up a bit and then fill each one with wet rub using a teaspoon. (A pair of latex gloves comes in handy when it comes time to rub the wet rub into the pork.) Do the same on all sides. If you have rub left over, smear it all over the outside of the roast. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 day or up to 3 days.

2. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

3. Set the roast, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast for 1 hour, turn the heat down to 400°F, and roast until the skin is a deep golden brown and crackly and with no trace of pink near the bone, about ½ hours or until an instant reading thermometer inserted near the bone registers 160°F. Let the roast rest at least 15 minutes before carving.

4. To serve, remove the crispy skin. It will pull right off in big pieces. Cut them into smaller pieces—kitchen shears work well for this—and pile them in the center of the platter. Carve the meat parallel to the bones all the way down to the bone. (It will get trickier to carve neat slices as you get near the bone; don’t let that bother you.)


 A good rule of thumb for roasting pork is to cook the roast half an hour for every pound.

© 2005 Daisy Martinez

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information does not include Wet Rub for Meats and Poultry. For nutritional information on Wet Rub for Meats and Poultry, please follow the link above.

602kcal (30%)
38mg (4%)
2mg (3%)
5mcg RAE (0%)
181mg (60%)
166mg (7%)
16g (80%)
46g (71%)
3mg (15%)

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

the-whole-beast-nose-to-tail-eating The Whole Beast: Nose to Ta...
by Fergus Henderson
cooking-for-friends Cooking for Friends
by Gordon Ramsay
the-south-american-table-the-flavor-and-soul-of-authentic-home-cooking-from-patagonia-to-rio-de-janeiro-with-450-recipes The South American Table: T...
by Maria Baez Kijac
le-bernardin-cookbook Le Bernardin Cookbook
by Eric Ripert, Maguy Le Coze
the-deen-bros-take-it-easy-quick-and-affordable-meals-the-whole-family-will-love The Deen Bros. Take It Easy...
by Bobby Deen, Jamie Deen
flavor Flavor
by Rocco DiSpirito
the-country-cooking-of-ireland The Country Cooking of Ireland
by Colman Andrews
lucid-food Lucid Food
by Louisa Shafia
lidias-italy Lidia's Italy
by Lidia Bastianich
a-bakers-odyssey A Baker's Odyssey
by Andrew Schloss
mexican-everyday Mexican Everyday
by Rick Bayless
complete-book-of-indian-cooking-350-recipes-from-the-regions-of-india Complete Book of Indian Coo...
by Suneeta Vaswani
a-new-way-to-cook A New Way to Cook
by Sally Schneider
david-burkes-new-american-classics David Burke's New American ...
by David Burke, Judith Choate

Thanks for signing up!

You'll receive an activation email in your inbox shortly. Don't forget to click that link and activate your new Cookstr.com account!

Already a member? Sign in here

Sign up for Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?