Pernil – Puerto Rican Style Pork

American cuts of pork.
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If you know anything about me, you know that I love pork. In fact, it seems like everybody these days is talking swine. A couple of weeks ago, New York Magazine devoted much of its issue to everything pork – from where to buy the best heritage pig, to slow roasting it in your backyard, to the best places to get the best pork cubano

One of my absolute favorite pork dishes is Pernil also known as  Lechon Asado. I was first introduced to this spanish style roast pork almost 20 years ago. It was first at the Chino Latino institution on the Upper West Side, La Caridad, where I first sampled this delicious, juicy, succulent, savory specialty. Since then, every time I go to a Latino restaurant, I almost always order their version of Pernil

Puerto Rican cuisine has its roots in Spanish, African and Caribbean cuisines. Pernil is a traditional Puerto Rican dish that involves slow roasting some pork shoulder in garlic, salt and spices. There are many different recipes out there but they all have the same ingredients in common – salt, garlic, oregano and time….lots of time. The meat needs to be slow roasted to transform itself from a hunk of chewy meat into a soft, tender, tasty meal.

I made this latin specialty last week and highly recommend it for my low carb following  friends In fact, this dish has practically NO CARBS. Further, it could not be any easier to make. I took out my new best friend – my slow cooker and set up shop on my kitchen counter.

Please find below the recipe.

  • 3 -4 lbs of pork shoulder
  • 3 tsp of salt
  • 6-7 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 tbsps of white vinegar
  • 4 tbsps of oil
  • 1 teaspoon of  oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper

Combine all ingredients (except onion and pork) in a bowl and make a paste. Spread it on the pork shoulder. Pop the pork and chopped onions in the Crocker. Push the button. Cook on the low setting for about 8 hours.

I shredded some crunchy iceberg lettuce in a bowl, topped it off with a hefty portion of my home-made Pernil, sprinkled a small handful of chopped scallions and a squeeze of fresh lime and a dash of hot sauce. YUMMY! Low Carb never tasked so good!

Chow for now!


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