Braised Pork Shoulder (Pernil)

I’m Back! If you are in the church or music business, you know December is a black hole. I thought I had everything together and then came Dec 20-ish. I was sitting on that Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk cookie recipe, you can click for that deliciousness here. But between December music craziness and going to Puerto Rico in January (which has been shaking since December 28 with multiple earthquakes everyday) I’ve slowed down my cooking life. And here we go again. After being in PR and cooking with mom and being with family, I came back to Iowa. I obviously had to cook one of my favorites, Pork shoulder. Because everybody needs more pork shoulder recipes in their lives. And reader, I have a LOT of pork shoulder recipes.

Temp: 325 degrees (375 if you have as bigger chuck of meat)
Prep: 30 mins
Cook time: 3-4 hours; if its in 375 2.5-3 hours


  • 4 pound pork shoulder.
  • Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of oil (vegetable, peanut)
  • 2 heads of garlic, cut lengthwise
  • Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flake
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 1/2 bunch of parsley
  • 1 to 2 packets of sazon
  • 2 teaspoons of oregano

How to:

1. Preheat the oven to 325

2. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Heat a big Dutch oven or heavy pot with a lid, with oil. Sear the meat, fat- side down until well brown (8 mins). Flip pork and sear the other side (8 mins).

3. Take the pork out of the the pot (it’s heavy). Take out some of the fat, around 1 tablespoon (max 1.5).

4. Add the garlic and pepper flakes. Cook for 2 mins. Add the pork (fat cap up), reseason with oregano and 1 packet of sazon. In a cup or in the pot, add the stock and the sazon and mix well.

5. Roast the pork until tender (you want slices, but if it falls apart it doesn’t matter). For 3-4 hours in 325. 2.5-3 if its 375

6. Remove the pot form the oven and remove the pork to a cutting board. Let it rest. Chop parsley and add to the pot (you could use cilantro, but I hate it.) For beautiful garlic jewels, you can squeeze the garlic out or you can just squeeze it through a sieve and serve it like a garlic sauce. If you want some acid to the mix, you can throw some limes and then throw them to the pot.

7. Serve pork. You can put the pork back in the Dutch oven and serve it that way or you can use big platter (I would personally use the Dutch oven, less clean up. I’ve done both).

You can serve the pernil with rice, beans, make tacos out of it or with polenta.

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