Oven-Roasted Pork Shoulder
"Pernil" pronounced "pur-neil" is a whole pork shoulder or pork thigh that is marinated for 1-3 days and roasted on low fire or heat for 6-8 hours. It's the most traditional main dish enjoyed during Christmas Eve in the Dominican Republic and other Latin American countries.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 6- 8 hours
Tools Needed: Roasting Pan with Rack, Food Injector
7-8 pounds of pork shoulder
1/3 cup of Sour orange or lime juice
¼ cup of olive oil
1 whole head of garlic, peeled
1/3 cup of dry oregano leaves
A small bunch of fresh thyme
1 tablespoon of black pepper
1 medium onion cut into four
A small bouquet of cilantro without bottom roots (about a 1/4 of the whole bouquet)
2 tablespoon of salt
TIP: For the most tender pork shoulder you will also need patience and time. The pork will be done when it can easily be pulled apart with a fork
Blend all ingredients in a blender with olive oil until smooth, similar to the texture of pesto
Rinse the pork shoulder with water.
Using a knife, make 2" pockets or incisions, each 3” apart of each other. These pockets should be only be placed at the the bottom and sides of the shoulder. The top section where the skin is should be left intact.
Then, pour 1/4 teaspoon of the herbal blend in each of the pockets. Use the remaining of the herbal blend to spread all over the pork shoulder
Using a food injector, inject limejuice or sour orange into different areas of the pork shoulder
Sprinkle skin with salt
Place the shoulder in a rack inside a roasting pan. If your roasting pan does not have a cover, cover with foil or plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for one full day or up to 3 days
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.Then, place pork shoulder, uncovered and bake for 15 minutes
Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 6-8 hours
Once cooked, let it cool for about 25-30 minutes before carving. This waiting period will help to redistribute the juices for a smooth carving as well as a juicier roast.