Savory Puerto Rican-Inspired Roast Pork Delight

July 25, 2023

A Glimpse into My Culinary Past

During my teenage years, the kitchen at the Liberty, NY Holiday Inn became more than just a workplace. Amidst a skilled team, primarily from Puerto Rico, my passion for Latin American cuisine blossomed, particularly the Puerto Rican-inspired roast pork. While immersing myself in the rich language and culture, I developed a profound fondness for this Pernil Style dish. Now, each bite carries memories of those sun-drenched summers, filling my home with its distinctive aroma.

A Timeless Favorite

The secret? A well-balanced marinade and a pork roast that boasts just the right amount of fat. Paired with beans, rice, and a fresh salad, it’s the perfect recipe for a soul-satisfying feast. While this dish isn’t a pure replication of the traditional pernil, it reflects my personal twists gained from years of culinary adventures.

A boneless pork roast is my preference for ease, but I nod with respect to the flavorful depth a bone-in, skin-on ham brings to the table. Dive into this recipe with an open heart, ready to savor one of my all-time cherished meals.


  • 6-pound boneless pork shoulder (option for skin-on)
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced (approx. 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1½ tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
  • 1½ tablespoons of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1½ teaspoons of sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • Water

Steps to Culinary Bliss:

  1. Marinade Mastery: After rinsing and patting your roast dry, craft a blend of garlic, olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, and your selected herbs and spices. Massage this marinade tenderly into every nook and cranny of the roast.
  2. Patience Pays: For those using a boneless roast, ensure you get some of that marinade goodness into the cavity where the bone once lay. If opting for skin, score it delicately and ensure it’s thoroughly covered. After your marinating artistry, envelop the roast in plastic wrap, letting it soak in flavor overnight.
  3. Preparation Phase: Allow the roast to embrace room temperature, setting it out for about 2 hours.
  4. Oven Time: Preheat to 425F. A base of sliced onions and a cup of water in your roasting pan sets the stage. Your roast takes the spotlight atop this.
  5. Initial Roasting: A 30-minute stint at 425F is followed by a pan rotation and another half-hour of cooking. Shield your roast with foil if it’s getting a tad too tan.
  6. Slow and Steady: Drop the temperature to 350F. For the next 2-3 hours, nurture it with occasional water (around ½ a cup every 30 minutes) to prevent any base burning.
  7. Final Touch: If your roast yearns for a golden touch, crank it up to 425F in the last 30 minutes.
  8. Rest and Relish: Let it breathe for 10-15 minutes. Slice, pour over the pan’s aromatic juices, and pair with rice, beans, and a salad.

Embrace this meal with gusto, celebrating cherished memories, and forging new ones around the dining table. Cheers to delectable favorites that warm our souls!

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