PERNIL AL HORNO (Cuban garlic roasted pork shoulder, for eight)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Pork, fresh ham, pernil al horno 8

1 head garlic

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1-1/2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper

one 7 to 7-1/2 pound bone-in pork shoulder with skin

lime wedges to accompany



1. Mash garlic to a paste with 2 tablespoons kosher salt using a mortar and pestle or the side of a large heavy knife, then stir in the oregano, vinegar, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon pepper.

2. Pat pork dry. Using a small sharp knife, cut a wide pocket at large end of roast to separate skin from fat, leaving skin attached at sides and stopping before roast narrows to bone.

3. Make 1 inch deep slits in pork under skin and on all meaty sides, twisting knife slightly to widen openings, then push some of the garlic mixture into slits with your fingers. Rub any remaining garlic mixture over roast (not skin). Wipe skin clean, then rub with remaining teaspoon kosher salt (to help it crisp). Transfer pork to a shallow glass or ceramic dish and marinate, covered and chilled, at least 8 hours.

4. Put pork, skin side up, in a flameproof roasting pan, discarding marinade, and bring to room temperature, about 1 hour.

5. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350* with rack in the middle.

6. Cover pork with parchment paper and then tightly with aluminum foil and roast 2-1/2 hours. Discard foil and parchment, then add ½ cup water to pan and roast, uncovered, adding more water when the liquid in the pan evaporates (check about every ½ hour), until the skin is browned and crisp and the meat is fork-tender, 2 to 2-1/2 hours more. Transfer to a cutting board or platter, reserving juices in pan, and let stand 30 minutes.

7. Meanwhile, pour pan juices through a sieve into a fat separator or bowl and discard fat. Add ¾ cup water to roasting pan and deglaze it by boiling over medium high heat (straddle 2 burners if necessary), scraping up brown bits, 1 minute, then add to pan juices along with enough water to bring total to 1-1/2 cups.

8. Cut skin off roast. (If skin is not crisp, roast in a shallow baking pan in a 475* oven until crisp, about 10 minutes.) Cut skin into serving pieces. Pull meat from roast in pieces using a fork. Serve meat with pan juices and pork skin.


from Gourmet Magazine, September, 2007

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