Pernil (Puerto Rican Roast Pork with Garlic)

Pernil (Puerto Rican Roast Pork with Garlic)

1 head garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons oregano (fresh or dried)
2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 lb boneless pork loin


WARNING: This part needs to be done the day before you plan on serving the roast. In a food processor, blender or using a mortar and pestle, combine the garlic, oregano, peppercorns and olive oil to form a thick paste. If the mixture looks dry, add more oil, one tablespoon at a time. Place the pork loin in a glass roasting pan. Using the point of a sharp knife, stab the pork on all sides to a depth of about one inch. Rub the pork with the garlic paste. Cover and refrigerate over night.

Preheat oven to 450. Make sure the roast is fat side up. Bake 30 minutes then reduce temperature to 350. Periodically baste the meat with its own juices. Cook for another 45-60 minutes or until the internal temperature is 150. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

My thoughts: When I saw a version of this recipe in my local paper, I had to try it. My husband and I were in San Juan on our honeymoon and I thought it would be fun have a Puerto Rico themed dinner. Traditionally, Pernil is made using a bone-in pork shoulder. Using the boneless pork loin shortens the cooking time and is easier to slice for serving. Even though prepping the meat the night before is kind of a pain (I hate waiting to eat anything!) the flavor is much better than it would be if you just rubbed it on before roasting.


  1. Sounds really good! What did you serve it with?

  2. i tried it and it is fantastic! thinly sliced potato and cut corn on the cob are great additions.