Ingredients (9)

  • 10.5 lbs bone-in, skin-on pork shoulder
  • 1 cup sofrito
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 7 cloves garlic
  • 5 tablespoons adobo seasoning (like Goya Adobo)
  • 5 tablespoons sazonador
  • 1 tablespoon adobo seasoning with saffron (like Goya Adobo with saffron)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6 cups water
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Nutritional Information
  • Calories180
  • Fat13.58g
  • Saturated fat4.52g
  • Trans fat0g
  • Carbs0.62g
  • Fiber0.11g
  • Sugar0.03g
  • Protein12.86g
  • Cholesterol51.24mg
  • Sodium189.39mg
  • Nutritional Analysis per serving (66 servings) Powered by

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In Puerto Rico, pernil is often prepared for Christmas and other big celebrations, as a 10-pound pork shoulder is plenty big to feed a crowd (with enough tender meat and crisp skin for all to share). The pork shoulder must be massaged with a slew of uniquely Latin ingredients, like adobo seasoning, sazonador, and adobo seasoning with saffron, spices which can be purchased on Amazon or Walmart and are often found in the international aisle of the grocery store.

See more international Christmas recipes, and our Ultimate Guide to Christmas Dinner for everything else you need to know.

Tips for Christmas and Pork


  1. 1Poke holes in the pork shoulder & separate skin from the meat to allow it to crisp up. Do not remove the skin entirely.
  2. 2Cover the pork in lime juice, sofrito, spices, and salt. Stuff garlic cloves into the holes created in step 1.
  3. 3Marinate for at least 24 to 36 hours.
  4. 4Preheat oven to 400°F.
  5. 5Roast in the oven for one hour.
  6. 6After one hour, lower the heat to 250°F and roast for an additional 6 hours.
  7. 7Briefly let cool. Pull pork apart & serve.

Image courtesy of Andrew Bui.

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