Celebrate Pig Day with this Pernil recipe

Today is National Pig Day and I can think of no better way to celebrate than by indulging in a delicious Puerto Rican pernil (also known as lechon asado). It's a roast pork recipe that my Cuban family would also frequently make, in particular on Noche Buena.

But this dish is so good that it can be enjoyed any day. With this recipe from New York Times, you'll make the perfect dish. The best part about this classic is that it feeds a lot of people, so your family can have seconds or save some for lunch the next day. Enjoy it tonight and celebrate Pig Day!, which just so happens to be today


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Pernil Recipe (courtesy of the New York Times)

Time: at least 3 hours
Yield: at least 6 servings

1 pork shoulder, 4 to 7 pounds (or use fresh ham)
4 or more cloves garlic, peeled
1 large onion, quartered
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves or 1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ancho or other mild chili powder
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil as needed
1 tablespoon wine or cider vinegar
Lime wedges for serving.

1. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Score meat's skin with a sharp knife, making a cross-hatch pattern. Pulse garlic, onion, oregano, cumin, chili, salt and pepper together in a food processor, adding oil in a drizzle and scraping down sides as necessary, until mixture is pasty. (Alternatively, mash ingredients in a mortar and pestle.) Blend in the vinegar.
2. Rub this mixture well into pork, getting it into every nook and cranny. Put pork in a roasting pan and film bottom with water. Roast pork for several hours (a 4-pound shoulder may be done in 3 hours), turning every hour or so and adding more water as necessary, until meat is very tender. Finish roasting with the skin side up until crisp, raising heat at end of cooking if necessary.
3. Let meat rest for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting it up; meat should be so tender that cutting it into uniform slices is almost impossible; rather, whack it up into chunks. Serve with lime.

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Do you enjoy making pernil or another pork recipe in your home? How do you prepare it?

Image via roboppy/flickr

Topics: array  caribbean food