Monday, December 26, 2011

Pernil AKA Puerto Rican Roast Pork

Nothing says Christmas like the smell of pernil wafting throughout a house like a cartoon finger. I've cooked a lot of different things, but I never thought to make pernil because the responsibility always fell to my mother at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Since my mother didn't make pernil at our family holiday dinner, I left feeling incomplete.  The following recipe is a combination of my mom's recipe, some 'successful' miscommunication, and all of the 'techniques' learned from my never ending DVR'd food shows.


4lb - Roast Pork Butt (you can also use Pork Shoulder)
6 cloves - Garlic (sliced)
2 packets - Sazon seasoning
1/4 cup - White Vinegar
1 - Lemon (juice)
1 - Lime (juice)
Adobo Seasoning (you can substitute granulated garlic, salt, and pepper)

1) Squeeze and massage the juice of 1 lemon and lime all over the pork butt.
2) Stab the pork butt repeatedly on all sides (your knife should penetrate about 1/2 inch).
3) Season and rub with Adobo and Sazon seasonings.
4) Insert the sliced pieces of garlic into all of the knife slits (it should slide in like pennies in a penny loafer)
5) Put the pork butt in a sealed Ziploc gallon bag and pour the vinegar over it.
6) Put the sealed bag in a pyrex container and refrigerate for 24 hours (be sure to turn it over every few hours).
7) Place the pork butt on a roasting rack and put it in the oven uncovered at 300 degrees for 2 1/2 hours (this creates a crispy skin).
8) Flip it on the roasting rack with tongs and let the other side get roasted for another 2 1/2 hours (I put aluminum foil midway so it wouldn't dry out).
9) Flip it again on its original side and turn the temperature up to 400 degrees and leave it for 20 minutes.
10) Take the meat out of the oven and let it rest for a bit. 
11) Take the meat apart with tongs and a knife and try to portion it out so every piece has crispy pork skin on it.

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