Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder Recipe

SERVES 8 This classic Puerto Rican roast pork recipe by J, Fox of Manhattan grass-fed-whole-animal butcher shop Hudson & Charles is also known as pernil. A major crowd pleaser, it’s also absurdly easy to make. It’s best marinated a day before cooking, but if time is short, a few hours will do. To do it right, you need a skin-on pork shoulder (order from a butcher shop) and a meat thermometer to ensure doneness. If the skin begins to look too dark during cooking, tent the pork with aluminum foil. After cooking, peel off the skin, chop it into a bowl, chunk the meat, and platter the skin and meat separately, pouring over the meat any juices that release during carving.

12 cloves garlic, mashed or pressed to a paste (makes about 3½ tablespoons paste)

1 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

5 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt

3 tablespoons white vinegar

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper

1 (7-pound) bone-in, skin-on pork shoulder (preferably the picnic cut, and pasture-raised), skin scored in a 1½-inch crosshatch pattern


In a bowl, mix the garlic paste, orange and lemon juices, salt, vinegar, oregano, and pepper until combined.

With a sharp knife cut about 15 (½-inch-deep) slits into the pork. Rub the marinade all over the roast, including into the incisions and scored skin. Transfer to a large ziplock plastic bag or container with a cover and marinate, turning occasionally to coat, for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Place the roast, fat side up, in a large roasting pan fitted with a rack. Add 2 cups water to the bottom of the pan to catch fat drippings (add more water as needed during cooking to keep the pan from drying out) and cook until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork reaches 185°F, about 4½ hours.

Pull the crispy skin off the roast and roughly chop. Let the roast rest for 10 minutes, then slice the meat and serve with the roughly chopped cracklings.

Photo: Shay Harrington


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