Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pernil A.K.A. Pork Shoulder - A little Taste of Heaven

On absolutely every holiday, and special occasion in my family, someone, somewhere is cooking a pernil. I know that a lot of people look at pernil (or pork shoulder) as something difficult to make or even un-appetizing because it just looks so weird! I even heard an HSN person call it the meat of the "underclass" because its so inexpensive. While I found that kind of offensive since Pernil is considered such a delicacy in Hispanic cooking, I also just let it go - because whoever doesn't eat it, is definitely missing out!

While this dish takes a while to cook, I PROMISE, PROMISE and SUPER PROMISE that it is well worth the wait! You will never have a special occasion without it again!

This is a picture of a pernil uncooked (I'll explain the slash marks in a sec)

What You Need:
- 1 Pork Shoulder (says it just like that in the supermarket)
- 2 packets of Goya Sazon seasoning
- 4 tablespoons of Goya Sofrito (the fresh kind, not frozen)
- 1 Bulb of Garlic - crushed. (if you want to buy it in the jar - already crushed, that is fine)
- 1 bottle of apple cider vinegar

What You Do:
- After you bring home the pork shoulder, make sure you wash it. (Basically, rinse if off well in the sink)
- Next, you want to take a sharp knife and make piercing holes all around the pernil (see picture above). You can make the holes everywhere - on the fatty side and underneath. You will be putting your seasoning into these holes, so they don't need to be huge. Just large enough to get the tip of your finger into.
- Make the rub: Take the sazon, adobo, sofrito and garlic and mash it together until it becomes a paste-like consistency. Take this paste and place it in all of the holes you have made around the pernil. If you have any leftover, just rub it all over the outside of the pork.
- Finally, once your pernil is in the container you will cook it in (usually I just use a disposable aluminum pan), you want to bathe it in the apple cider vinegar. When I say bathe, I mean drench it! The vinegar will make the meat tender and delicious!

Note: You will want to season the pernil at least 4 hours before you plan to cook it. But it is actually easier and more preferable to do this the night before and just leave it in the fridge marinating.

- When you're ready to cook: Place the Pernil in the oven at 375 degrees for three hours. You'll want to have it covered with either a lid, or aluminum foil.
- Afterward, take off the cover, and leave it in the oven for 1 more oven so that it can get crispy.
- Let it rest for at least a half an hour after you take it out the oven. Carve it up and ENJOY!!!

Tell me that doesn't look amazing!

Total Prep Time: 30-45 minutes.
Total Cook Time: 4 hours.

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