Pernil Asado or Roast Pork Shoulder - Kitchen Chatters
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Pernil Asado or Roast Pork Shoulder

In Puerto Rico no Christmas is complete without a whole roasted pig. For a small family however, a roasted pork shoulder still cooked with all of the festive seasonings used for a Lechon or roasted whole pig makes an acceptable compromise. This pork shoulder is marinated and then slow roasted to get the maximum flavor and tenderness.


  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup orange juice (preferably fresh squeezed)
  • 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 50 cloves of garlic minced
  • 10 pound bone in, skin on pork picnic shoulder


Combine brown sugar, orange juice, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, olive oil and spices in a dish and set aside. Cut slits in the roast measuring 1 inch deep and 1 1/2 inches wide. Place roast in a pan and slowly pour marinade over the top of the roast. Put roast in the refrigerator for at least six hours and up to 12 hours, turning the roast every few hours. Put roast in a preheated oven at 325 degrees. Cook roast, basting with the sauce generously and frequently. Pork roast will read 190 degrees in the thickest part of the roast when it is done or approximately five hours. Allow roast to sit for about 30 minutes before serving.

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