Roast Pork (Pernil)

Makes 8 Daisy servings, plus leftovers

  • 4 ½ pound skin-on pork shoulder roast
  • Wet Adobo

Up to 3 days before you serve the roast, set the roast in a bowl skin side up. With a paring or boning knife, make several slits about 1½ inches wide through the skin of the roast and into the meat. Make the slits as deep as you can. Wiggle a finger in the slits to open them up a bit, then fill each with wet adobo, using a teaspoon. Turn the roast over and do the same to all sides. If you have adobo left over, rub it all over the outside of the roast. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 day or up to 3 days.
Preheat the oven to 450° F.
Set the roast skin side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast 1 hour, turn the heat down to 400° F and roast until the skin is deep golden brown and crackly and there is no trace of pink near the bone, about 1 ½ hours. Let the roast rest at least 15 minutes before carving.
To serve, remove the crispy skin. It will pull right off in nice, big pieces. Cut them into pieces—kitchen shears work well for this—and pile them up in the center of the platter. Carve the meat parallel to the bones all the way down to the bone. (It will get trickier to carve neat slices as you get near the bone; don’t let that bother you.)

*A good rule of thumb for roasting pork is to cook the roast half an hour for every pound.

29 Responses to “Roast Pork (Pernil)”

  1. 1 Hank February 28, 2007 at 7:30 pm


    Thanks so much for this recipe. I made (a real large one) for about 15 people in Mexico City at my in-laws place for New Years Eve. It was so good that everyone went crazy over it. They don’t know much about Puerto Rico there at all.

    The next day, we used Argentinian chimichurri sauce on it to moisten it a little (I have to overcook pork in Mexico to keep my older in-laws happy who grew up in the days of trichinosis and fear pork unless it’s very well done). The chimichurri was incredible with it too.

    Thanks again. My 3 year old son and I watch you every Saturday here in SF, CA. When you come on he starts yelling Daisy, Daisy.

    Thanks so much…

  2. 2 daisy February 28, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    Hola Hank,

    I LIVE for emails like the one you’ve sent me! I am really thrilled that you have been inspired to try the recipes, and have met with success. Pernil is certain ly one of God’s little miracles…we Puerto Ricans have taken it to another level! I am ecstatic that you are playing with the recipes to make them your own.

    Make sure you give that baby a big kiss from DAisy!

    Hasta pronto,


  3. 3 cathy March 22, 2007 at 9:44 am

    can you please me if you can cook pernil in a slow cooker

  4. 4 Susan October 16, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    Hi Dasiy. I love making your pernil, and I also watch all your cooking shows. I live New York, can you tell me when new epsiodes will be airing? Thanks for all your great recipe secrets, you are the BEST!

  5. 5 migui October 19, 2007 at 12:00 am

    Dear Susan:

    The cycle of Daisy Cooks! on PBS has come to an end.

    I am now working with new producers, and looking forward to going back to studio soon..

    We will keep you posted!


  6. 6 Anita November 5, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    can you cook pernil in a slow cooker. If so how long?

  7. 7 daisy November 6, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    Cooking the pernil in a slow cooker will not achieve the same result as roasting it. The skin will not crisp up into the crunchy laquer finish that is so delicious. Consider roasting your pernil in the oven. oxoD

  8. 8 Joyce November 26, 2007 at 11:56 am

    Is the roast pork (shoulder) the same cut as Calas I saw you prepare on the show. I thought that cooked longer ?

  9. 9 daisy November 28, 2007 at 4:15 pm

    Dear Joyce:

    I use pork shoulder on the show…you can also use a fresh picnic ham (upper leg with shank)..



  10. 10 pito December 16, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    Dear Daisy,
    Love your book and shows. Thanx for being a fantastic ambassador and role model for New Yoriquens all over. Your loved ones must be pruod of how greatly you’re passing along a most vital source of our culture. Feliz Navidad y que pasen un ano nuevo por lo alto.

  11. 11 daisy December 16, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    Dear Pito:

    Thanks for writing and for your kind words..

    Saludos y felicidades!


  12. 12 janey December 19, 2007 at 9:05 am

    Hi Daisy,
    Love your show. I will be making roast pork for the first time on New Years Day. Little nervous about making it. What temp do I cook it on? Where do I find adobo? Can I put garlic slivers in the slits? Thanking you in advance.
    P.S. Good Luck with your coming projects.

  13. 13 daisy December 19, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    Dear Janey:

    The answers to all your questions are found on the recipe section at

  14. 14 Anthony Peña December 22, 2007 at 1:33 am

    My girlfriend bought your book and she and I are big fans. Our favorite is the pernil with sofrito, garlic, sazon, adobo and olive oil, it comes out great and this year we are going all out. We make bacalaitos, maduros,pastalillos and arroz con habichuelas. We are also going to make coquito for the first time. We are inspired by your love and enthusiasm for ethnic food. Keep it coming!

    Feliz Navidad to you and your family,
    Anthony Peña-Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

  15. 15 daisy December 23, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    Dear Anthony:

    Happy Holidays to you and your girlfriend..

    Thanks for writing!


  16. 16 Getho December 31, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    Daisy I love your show! Recently purchased your book and it is by far my favorite cook book ever! My pernil is going on its third day in the frig nicely seasoned and ready to go. You have never steered me wrong daisy. All the best for the new year.

    To the most beautiful and radiant Chef on TV!


  17. 17 daisy December 31, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    Dear Jet:

    I can only imagine how delicious the pernil will turn out!



  18. 18 MoneyMoy January 7, 2008 at 6:25 pm


    So I made your Pernil yesterday and it rocks! You rock!!! I noticed that Mark Bittman did a video recipe for Pernil in last week’s NY Times, but I went with your version because hey, your exuberance is way more convincing. 🙂 There’s a picture of my results on my website if you care to check it out.

    Thanks for all the great stuff in your shows. Yours is definitely one of the best cooking shows ever!

    All the best,

  19. 19 daisy January 7, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Dear Steve:

    Good Job! The pernil looks delicioso to say the least…

    Thanks for the picture and your kind words of support..



  20. 20 Carol Fernandez January 13, 2008 at 12:30 am

    I miss you and your show so much. Please come back to our TV screens since you are delightful. Thankfully I recorded a number of your shows and can view them as I am trying your recipes. Your cookbook is dynamite. I am a senior who loved mamas cooking but never paid much attention to the methods. Your cook book brought it all back and I am cooking up a storm of Puerto Rican recipes. It is so easy to read and I gave out to all my friends and family a copy of your book. Excellent!!!!
    Again, I miss your Wednesday shows, come back soon and keep me advised. Carol

  21. 21 daisy January 13, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Dear Carol:

    We are going back to studio pretty soon, and I will make sure you are all updated on any new developments….



  22. 22 Jason January 16, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    Daisy –

    My wife and I love your show and are making your Pernil recipe. Is it okay to have the meat marinating for 4 days?


  23. 23 daisy January 16, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    Dear Jason:

    Yes you can. As long as you keep it in the fridge..



  24. 24 Susan March 12, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    I am Italian; my neighbors are Puerto Rican, and they knocked on my door and said….’it smells like you are making pernil’!

    OMG, it was amazing!!! Juicy; flavor in every bite and the skin…was like crunchy spicy mahogony! I shared some with them and they gave an enthusiastic thumbs up…thank you Daisy!

    Now I want to make the empanadas 🙂

  25. 25 daisy March 12, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    Good job Susan! Keep making me proud!

    Next time, send me pictures of the final dish…



  26. 26 Pamela April 3, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    All i have to say is Daisy COOKS! I’m Italian and my husband is Puerto Rican and El Salvadorian. I love all my Latin dishes..sometimes I swear I think he’s the Italian. He loves his pasta. I have made your Mexican Flan and all I can say is WOW! I make Creme Brulee and well I put this right next to it. It is amazing. I love your show and your book. I wish they would put you on Food Network. We need you on there to spice things up. I love master other cultures dishes and well so far I feel your recipes are among the best. I have used a good amount and I also infuse my own influences. Keep up the good work Daisy!

  27. 27 daisy April 3, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Dear Pamela:

    From your lips to God’s ears!! I will have news on my new show pretty soon!


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