Monday, January 9, 2012

Pernil: Special Post by my Mami

Either the party's here or you have reached a Puerto Rican's home. How do you know? Well, you can smell the pork roast cooking. How can four simple ingredients give this meat such great favor and color? It takes salt, black ground pepper, cumin and an envelope or two of Sazon Goya. You prepare the meat two days in advance by cutting holes in the meat. (You can also prepare and cook the meat the same day, but it will taste better preparing it ahead of time.) You mix the salt, pepper and cumin in a bowl and then you add and rub the mixture into the holes that you made in the meat. Once you've done every hole you then spinkle some on the outside and give it a good rub.

The final touch is the Sazon, which gives it color because we love our colors especially in food. Don't be surprise that your hand will turn orange. The Sazon has annatto which gives it the orange color. You give the meat a final rub with the Sazon and you are ready to place it in a pan, then cover it with aluminum foil and stick it in the refrigerator. Every time you open the refrigerator you can smell the seasonings.

We prepare the pork roast for every occasion whether it's a birthday party, baptism and even weddings. But no Puerto Rican house is without a pork roast on Christmas Eve. It's almost a sin! This is one of the staple foods for Christmas. During a trip to Puerto Rico, we were driving along the road and on the side of the road they were selling pork roast of course we had to stop and get some. The taste was awesome. The pork was tasty and the bread was so soft. The aroma that the pork roast leaves take me back to my childhood. I remember the Christmas holidays and celebration that I went to as a child. The monthly trips to the meat market to pick up the side of pork. Give this pork roast a try and you will see how you will enjoy every bit of it. Some of the side dishes that accompany this roast is yellow rice with green pigeon peas and our unique style of potato salad.

Pork Roast

5 pound pork shoulder

3 tablespoons of salt

2 tablespoons of black ground pepper

1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of cumin

1-2 envelope of Sazon Goya with culantro and annattao - found in the Hispanic food section.

Follow the instructions on top, then remove the aluminum foil and place the meat skin side up in a 425 degree oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until you cut the meat and it is not red or bleeding. Enjoy!!

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