Showing posts with label holiday dinner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holiday dinner. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Holiday Pernil: Slow-Roasted Puerto Rican-Style Pork Shoulder by Cleo Coyle

Impressive to serve yet easy to make, this slow-roasted, crispy-skinned pork shoulder is a beloved treat in many Latin American homes, especially during the Christmas season. Like a stunning holiday turkey, a roasted pork shoulder will wow your dinner guests. (They’ll think you worked a lot harder than you did because there’s no basting, just pop it in the oven and turn it a few times.) 

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

Years ago, my husband and I shared a smaller version of this recipe. This is a bigger and better version, perfect for large gatherings...or more intimate ones (with plenty of tasty leftovers).

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Feliz Navidad! 

~ Cleo

Pork shoulder slow-roasted this way is amazing sliced right off the bone. The rich, crispy pork skin is truly a delicacy, and the succulent meat is wonderfully versatile.

Slapped on a fresh roll, it makes a delicious sandwich, including traditional Cubans. Or place the pork slices in a warmed flour or corn tortilla with guacamole and sour cream and you've got an outstanding taco... 

And now without further ado (or adobo!),
here is our version of the Puerto Rican clas


For a free downloadable PDF
of this recipe that you can print, save
or share, 


Cleo Coyle's Holiday Pernil

Slow-Roasted, Crispy-Skinned Pork Shoulder!

Makes about 10 servings


10 garlic cloves, peeled

5 tablespoons kosher salt

6 tablespoons oregano

2 tablespoons Goya brand Adobo seasoning

2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 tablespoons red, white, or cider vinegar (or red or white wine)

3 lemons or limes, juiced (or mix them to make a lemon-lime juice)

1 bone-in pork shoulder with skin (6 to 8 pounds)

NOTE - If an advertisement annoyingly covers some of these ingredients on your screen, I apologize. (It's not my ad, and I have nothing to do with its appearance or placement.) But I can give you a free, takeaway version of this recipe. Please click here for the recipe PDF, where you can see all ingredients clearly. Thank you! ~ Cleo


Step 1 - Create the rub: If you have a food processor, then take the first 9 ingredients on a quick spin to make a paste. No food processor? Then simply place the first 6 ingredients on a flat dish. Smash the peeled garlic cloves with the prongs of a fork, crushing the flavor into the dry ingredients. (A mortar and pestle is the traditional method.) When the mix resembles a fine mash, drizzle in your olive oil, vinegar (or wine), and lemon or lime juice. Blend the whole thing into a paste. Set aside.

Step 2 - Score the pork shoulder: After rinsing and drying off the pork shoulder, make six to eight 2-inch long slices around the white skin with a sharp knife. You should slice far enough to penetrate the skin and fat and allow the knife to cut shallowly into the meat under the skin. (See my photos below.)

Step 3 - Apply  the rub: Before you begin, place the pork on a long sheet of plastic wrap. Now massage the swoon-worthy fragrant rub ("adobo" in Spanish) all over the surface of the pork, making sure to work the paste into the cuts you made in the skin. Massage the meat well, rubbing the herbs into the flesh on all sides.

Step 4 - Wrap and chill: Draw up the ends of that plastic wrap, on which you set the pork, and use additional plastic wrap to bind the meat tightly (see my photo below). Place the pork in the refrigerator and allow it to marinate for at least 6 hours, although overnight is better! Pork shoulder is a dense meat, so the longer you marinate it, the better the flavors will penetrate. Again, 6 hour minimum for good results, overnight for the best results.

Step 5 - Prep for cooking: Before roasting, the pork shoulder must come to room temperature, so allow the wrapped meat to sit outside the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Unwrap the pork and discard the plastic wrap. DO NOT RINSE THE MEAT. Place it on a rack over a shallow pan, skin side up. Roast uncovered for about 45 to 50 minutes a pound, depending on your oven, so a 6 pound shoulder would need to slow roast for 4-1/2 to 5 hours, an 8 pound roast 6 to 7 hours, and so on.

Step 6 - Turn the Meat: Every hour during the cooking, flip the meat over. In other words, you will start roasting the pork shoulder with the skin side up. After an hour, flip the shoulder so the skin side is down for the second hour, and so on, every hour of cooking. You are turning it this way so the skin will cook evenly on all sides and the juices will be distributed properly. At the end of the cooking time, the meat should be at an internal temperature of 165 degrees. 

This is the pernil after the first hour of cooking
Flip the pernil once every hour for perfect
distribution of juices and browning of skin.

If the thermometer is under that temperature, then place the meat back in the oven for another 20 to 30 minutes and check again. By the end of the roasting process, the skin will be beautifully browned and delicious. (Yes, we eat the skin!) And may you eat with joy!

For a free downloadable PDF
of this recipe that you can print, save
or share, 

Click here for the free recipe PDF.

May your holidays 
be delicious!

Alice and Marc in Central Park.

Together we write as...

☕ ☕ ☕

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 

Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
 Visit my online 
coffeehouse here.

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Our bestselling hardcover is
now a bestseller in paperback!

It can get a girl killed.

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A Mystery Guild Selection
A Baker & Taylor "Trends" Pick
Three "Best of Year" Reviewer Lists

☕  ☕  ☕

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
15 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


See mini plot summaries 
for every title and news on
 Cleo's next release!

🔎 🔎 🔎

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Visit Our #Thanksgiving Recipes Page!

Do you need some ideas for your Thanksgiving feast? 
Let the crime-writing cooks of Mystery Lovers' Kitchen help!

Our Thanksgiving Recipe Page is now LIVE
and includes plenty of recipes for you,
including tips on choosing and cooking
the perfect Thanksgiving bird.



Have a
Happy Thanksgiving,

The Cooks of 
Mystery Lovers' Kitchen

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Appetizers Make New Year's Party

We're coming upon New Year's Eve. Happy New Year!

May this year bring you joy and happiness. May all your creative endeavors be positive. May you laugh and be surrounded by laughter. May you love and be surrounded by love.

And may you enjoy good company of friends (if you so desire).

For New Year's festivities, I'm always looking for new appetizers? Things I can serve on the 31st. Things I can serve watching football or while reading a good book (while others watch football).

I've stumbled upon a terrific herbed ricotta appetizer that is so EASY to make and so delicious to eat, and they're pretty. A plateful looks beautiful. So does a platter-ful. And guys like them just as much as gals. [This can also be made as a bruschetta "sandwich".]

For this batch of appetizers, I decided to try my hand at cheese making first. I've been told that making ricotta cheese was the easiest, so that's what I tried.

Ricotta cheese is fabulous. It's luscious and yet delicate and light. Though it was "harder" to do than I imagined, I really enjoyed the experience and I would do it again (now that I'm a seasoned veteran).

Just so you know, homemade tastes even better than store-bought. Definitely.

To prepare, you need a sieve, cheesecloth, a mixing bowl, and a 6-quart pot. Oh...and the ingredients (of course). And patience.

(makes about 2 cups)

2 quarts whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon salt
1 fresh lemon

You need a large sieve and cheesecloth.
Line the sieve with the cheesecloth and place the sieve over a large mixing bowl.
In a 6-quart pan, slowly bring the milk, the cream, and the salt to a boil over medium heat, stirring to prevent the mixture from scorching. This takes 3-4 minutes.

Squeeze the juice from one fresh lemon. It makes about 3 tablespoons. Add the lemon juice to the milk mixture, then reduce the mixture to low and continue stirring, about 2 minutes.
Pour the mixture on top of the cheesecloth in the sieve and let it drain for about an hour.
Discard the liquid in the bowl and reserve only the “curds” that are on top of the cheesecloth.
Keep the ricotta in a covered container and refrigerate. It will keep 3-4 days.

Now...for the appetizer, which IS EASY to make...



2 cups ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons scallions, minced
2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
2 tablespoos chives, minced
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 loaf sourdough bread or your favorite crackers
olive oil [FOR BRUSCHETTA]
1 whole garlic clove, cut in half [FOR BRUSCHETTA]

As I said, this may be made a couple of ways. Like a bruschetta (a meal) or just as a cold appetizer.

For appetizer: [easy!]

Combine the ricotta, scallions, dill, chives, salt and ½ teaspoon ground pepper.

Spread a tablespoon of the cheese on your favorite crackers.
Garnish with crushed pepper. [Do not use the oil or garlic from the ingredients above.]

For bruschetta: [a little more involved] [Sorry I don't have pictures of this one. We ate all the appetizers and ran out of the cheese mixture!]

Prepare a barbecue with medium-high heat.

Combine the ricotta, scallions, dill, chives, salt and ½ teaspoon ground pepper. Set aside.

Cut the bread in hafl and cut each half into 6 thick slices; 12 total.

When the grill is hot, brush the bread with oil and grill on each side for 2 minutes. Remove and rub with garlic clove.

Spread the herbed ricotta on the bread. Garnish with more pepper.

Serve with a crisp green salad.

If you want a few other appetizers from our Mystery Lovers Kitchen, click these links:

* * *
If you'd like to know more about A Cheese Shop Mystery series and want to download a few other recipes from me (on recipe cards), click on this link to my website: Avery Aames. I've posted recipes in the "morsels" section. There's lots of other fun stuff, as well. And sign up for the mailing list to get in on the next contest...coming soon.

Say cheese!