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Puerto Rican Slow-Roasted Pork (Pérnil al Horno)

8 Servings

7 hours 45 minutes active, plus refrigeration

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Puerto Rico native and now resident of Miami, Teryluz Andreu had fond memories of her mother’s pérnil al caldero, a classic Puerto Rican dish of pork roast seasoned with adobo—a garlicky, vinegary, oregano-spiced marinade—that’s slow-cooked on the stovetop until succulent and fall-apart tender. She had her mother’s recipe for adobo but no method for cooking the roast, and she hadn’t had success in recreating the dish. We assisted her with that and, in doing so, learned of pérnil al horno, a similar preparation that cooks in the oven. This recipe melds Andreu’s mother’s adobo with a simple, hands-off oven-roasting method. The pork slow-cooks at 350°F for hours, then finishes for a few minutes at 500°F to get the golden, crackling-crisp skin that’s characteristic of the dish. The cut to use for this is a bone-in, skin-on pork butt roast; you may need to order it from the butcher in advance. For this recipe, you will need a large roasting pan, one that measures about 13 by 16 inches, as well as extra-wide heavy-duty foil. The adobo provides tart, herbal notes that nicely balance the richness of the meat, but if you'd also like a burst of tangy citrus, serve lime wedges alongside.




Don’t leave the roast in the roasting pan for the 500°F finish; make sure to transfer it to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. If left in the roasting pan, the accumulated juices will create a humid environment that will prevent the skin from crisping. Also, be sure to pat dry the skin before finishing at 500°F. Any extra moisture will prevent crisping.

7 hours

45 minutes active, plus refrigeration


  • 2

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 15

    medium garlic cloves, peeled, divided


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