I have to first say that I dedicate this to the wonderful Mblah and the wonderful recipes that she shares with all of us. I thought I might share some
of my Puerto Rican favorites. I usually eyeball ingredients, but everything that I use I will post a pic of just in case you dont have it readily
Lets start with an all time fav, all year round, but you will usually find on major holidays, and thats Pernil, a.k.a Pork shoulder.
This is a pic of it uncooked.
This will cost you about $13-$15 bucks, but will serve easily 8-10 people!
Now you may look at this and say, there is alot of fat on this. YES THERE IS!! but it will cook off and keep the meat moist! Also make sure that you
buy the "bone-in" pork shoulder, the bone adds to the flavor also.
Here is what you will need. If you are unable to get the specific ingredients, you can make your own mix, which I will add below.
Large, deep pan.
Adobo, whichever flavor you prefer.
Garlic cloves (whole) 6-8.
Large sharp knife.
Now if you cannot get Adobo or sazon, you can make a mix of:
Bay leaves, crushed, dried.
Or Italian seasoning.
Add the above the way you like, you can dip your finger, and taste it to see if its to your liking.
Now once you have the above, clean and dry the pork shoulder. Lay on a cutting board, if your pan is metal you can put it there, if not do not season
in aluminum pan, for fear of poking holes in it. You'll see why in a minute.
Take the pork shoulder and place it skin side down, and begin poking holes in it, in the shape of an X. By placing one hole and then placing back in
at a slight angle, large enough to fit your finger.
Do this all around.
When done, take the garlic cloves and put them in the X's.
When done season thoroughly also adding some of the seasonings in the X's. This will ensure that the meat is seasoned through, and dont worry about
losing the juices. Also dont be afraid of over seasoning! If it is over seasoned, you can cut it up when it is finished, and mix the inner meat in the
juice, and this will transfer some of the more seasoned parts with the rest.
Now put the meat skin side up, take a sharp knife, and make cross shapes on this. This should also be seasoned, lightly, this is what pork skins are
made of, and in every spanish family it is fought over.
If you can marinate overnight. If not at least 6 hours covered and refrigerated.
Have your oven at 350 degrees.
Make sure that the pork is skin side up, cover, and cook for at least 4 hours, low and slow, also very important.
Before covering the skin, put butter spray on it, this will prevent the skin actually getting stuck to the aluminum foil, which will ruin the best
This is what it will look like when its done.
Notice the orange color. This is because of the sazon. If you cannot get sazon, uncover for the last 15-20 minutes, and you will get the same
Now here are the seasonings I spoke of.
Sazon with Achiote. Achiote is a red seed that is slowly simmered in oil, and gives spanish food its red coloring, and is used in almost everything,
from rice to beans, every meat, soups, etc,.
Plus a little will go alongggg way. For a large pork shoulder it will require maybe 2 packets.
Here is Adobo. Yes Adobo can be 2 things, but this is the powdered seasoning which comes in many flavors.
I use the one with cumin, for beef, the one with orange flavoring for pork, and the one with pepper for chicken.
Well I am sorry that this was lengthy, but I want to be sure this was easy to understand, if you have any questions your welcome to ask, I will be
adding more if this one goes well.