Edible Omaha

Pork Pernil

Photo by Mary Oswald
Photo by Mary Oswald
Photo by Mary Oswald

Yield: 8–12 servings

9 cloves garlic

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon crushed dried oregano

1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1½ teaspoons salt

7-pound pork shoulder roast, picnic cut, fat on

Crush or mince garlic and add to small bowl with pepper, oregano, olive oil and salt. Mix and set aside.

Rinse meat and pat dry with paper towels. With sharp knife, carefully score the meat with 1- to 1½-inch slits up to 2 inches deep in a diamond pattern all around meat.

Once meat is scored, rub all over with garlic mix, pressing seasoning into the scored slits and rubbing on fat. Place meat in 2-inch or deeper baking pan, fat-side up. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove pan from refrigerator and let stand for one hour or until room temperature.

Preheat oven to 400°.

Place pan with roast into oven and cook for 60 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 300° and cook an additional 4 hours. Do not turn the meat during cooking.

Check roast after four hours to see if pork skin (cuerito) is crispy; if not, increase oven temperature to 400° until skin crisps, watching carefully to avoid burning the skin.

Once skin is crispy and meat has reached an internal temperature of 185°, remove the meat from the oven and let stand for 20 to 30 minutes. Pull into pieces or slice and serve.

—Recipe courtesy of Camilo Machado