Pernil (Roast Pork Shoulder)


*Special thanks to our dear friend Louis who created this recipe!
Serves 12-14

1 bunch fresh cilantro
10 cloves (or about 1 small head) of garlic - peeled
1 tbs. ground cumin
1 tsp. onion powder
1 c. olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice and/or white vinegar
3 tbs. salt
zest of 1 lemon

*In a small bowl, combine salt and lemon zest. Rub together with your fingers until well combined.

*In the blender, add the leaves from the cilantro, but not the stems, they tend to be bitter. Add garlic, cumin, onion powder, and pepper. Juice the lemon into a measuring cup, if you don't get 1/2 c. make up the balance with white vinegar - you should have 1/2 c. of acids total. Add to blender. Pour olive oil into blender and mix until a bright green marinade forms.

*Remove the meat from its packaging and lay skin side down in a bag, in a sturdy roasting pan. Use a sharp knife to pierce the meat all over, without piercing the skin. Rub the lemon salt all over the meat. Use your fingers to get some inside the holes you just created.

*Pour the marinade in the bag but not over the meat - you don't want to wash the salt off. Seal up the bag and turn the meat a few times to ensure it's well coated with the marinade. Set in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.

*Remove the meat from the refrigerator and allow to rest on the counter for about 30 minutes so it comes to room temperature.

*In the meantime, preheat your oven to 375°. 

*Remove the pork from the bag and place skin side UP in a roasting pan. Discard any remaining marinade and the bag. 

*Cook the pork shoulder for 20 minutes per pound of meat. After it is cooked through, increase the heat to 450° and allow the skin to get bubbly and crispy. Just watch it carefully so it doesn't burn.

*Remove the pernil from the oven and tent with foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Remove the crispy skin from the roast. Then shred the meat, mix with pan juices and serve. 

Buon Appetito!