Cuban Food/ Main Course/ Recipes

Authentic Cuban Pork Roast

Authentic Cuban Pork, Cuban pork roast, cuban pork, pernil, cuban pork shoulder, pork butt,

This Authentic Cuban Pork Roast is my Tio Jose’s family famous recipe!

My uncle makes this pork roast every year for Noche Buena and there’s rarely any left-overs! If you come from a Cuban family you know that we sometimes roast the entire pig…well, that’s a lot of work! This pork roast or “Pernil Cubano” is just as tasty and much easier!

Authentic Cuban Pork, Cuban pork roast, cuban pork, pernil, cuban pork shoulder, pork butt, Pernil Cubano

It starts with the glorious MOJO marinade. I like to make my own for this to ensure that it’s packed full of flavor!

Here’s what you need to make the Authentic Cuban Pork Roast:

  • 15 pound bone-in pork butt (give or take a pound)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • cloves from 2 whole heads of garlic peeled
  • 1/3 cup sour orange juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (about 1 large naval orange)
  • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 8 limes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons salt (1/4 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh packed cilantro leaves

Everything (except the pork of course) gets thrown in a blender or food processor and you’re mojo is done!

Authentic Cuban Pork, Cuban pork roast, cuban pork, pernil, cuban pork shoulder, pork butt, pernil cubano

Here’s the secret to making sure your pork is juicy and full of flavor:

The secret is INJECTING the entire pork and letting it marinade from the inside. I strongly suggest buying a MEAT INJECTOR. It’s the only way to make sure a cut of meat this large will be flavored all the way through.

Authentic Cuban Pork, Cuban pork roast, cuban pork, pernil, cuban pork shoulder, pork butt, pernil cubano

Once injected with the mojo, the pork gets covered and marinated over night (or at LEAST 6 hours) then it’s cooking time!

The pork gets cooked low and slow at 275 for 7 hours. The results are a tender, juicy, Cuban pork that your family will go crazy for!

Authentic Cuban Pork, Cuban pork roast, cuban pork, pernil, cuban pork shoulder, pork butt, pernil cubano

We like to serve our pork (aka pernil) with white rice and black beans. You can use the recipe for MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER’S CUBAN BLACK BEANS to make a truly authentic Cuban meal!

After cooking and a little rest time, you can shred the pork and serve!

Authentic Cuban Pork, Cuban pork roast, cuban pork, pernil, cuban pork shoulder, pork butt, pernil cubano

If you’d like to use these fun “bear claws” for shredding, you can FIND THEM HERE.


 

5 from 5 votes
Authentic Cuban Pork, Cuban pork roast, cuban pork, pernil, cuban pork shoulder, pork butt,
Authentic Cuban Pork Roast
Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Cuban
Keyword: Authentic Cuban Pork Roast, cuban pork roast
Author: Coco and Ash
Ingredients
  • 15 pound bone-in pork butt (give or take a pound)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • cloves from 2 whole heads of garlic peeled
  • 1/3 cup sour orange juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (about 1 large naval orange)
  • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 8 limes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons salt (1/4 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh packed cilantro leaves
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients (except the pork) in a food processor or blender and blend until completely liquified. 

  2. Line a roasting pan with foil and place the roasting rack in the pan. Place the pork, skin side down on the roasting rack. Add 2 cups of water to the bottom of the roasting pan. 

  3. Using a meat injector, inject all of the marinade into the pork.Try not to puncture the skin underneath.  I like to go in from the side to make sure I'm not puncturing the skin. Just try to inject as many spots as you can to really get the marinade throughout the entire pork. (If you feel like you've maxed out on the inside of the pork, just take any left over marinade and rub it all over the outside of the pork)

  4. Cover the pork with foil as tightly as you can to create a seal. Refrigerate overnight or at least for 6 hours. (I prefer overnight but 6 hours will do if you're shorter on time.)

  5. After marinating, heat your oven to 275. Once heated, add the covered pork and cook for 7 hours. 

  6. After the 7 hours, uncover the pork. It should be falling off the bone easily at this point. You can pull at it with a fork to check. 

  7. Keeping the pork uncovered, set your oven to broil. Broil the top of the pork for about 5 minutes or until it has a nice golden brown color. 

    Using oven mitts and tongs, carefully turn the pork skin side up, and broil the skin side for another 5 minutes or until it's crispy on the top.  

  8. Let the pork rest for 15 minutes before shredding. 

Authentic Cuban Pork, Cuban pork roast, cuban pork, pernil, cuban pork shoulder, pork butt,

 

Authentic Cuban Pork, Cuban pork roast, cuban pork, pernil, cuban pork shoulder, pork butt,

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  • Lauren Vavala @ DeliciousLittleBites
    October 4, 2018 at 9:54 am

    I love Cuban pork sooo much! This recipe is perfection and great in so many ways!

  • Stephanie
    October 4, 2018 at 10:17 am

    Love the sound of that mojo. I’m sure this is just packed with a ton of flavor. And slowly cooking makes everything better.

    • Coco and Ash
      October 4, 2018 at 10:26 am

      Thanks Stephanie! The Mojo is good on so many different things! 🙂

  • Elaine Benoit
    October 4, 2018 at 10:43 am

    I love authentic recipes and this looks so delicious! I don’t eat enough Cuban dishes and now I can rectify that by making your delicious roast!

    • Coco and Ash
      October 4, 2018 at 1:18 pm

      Thank you Elaine! I hope you get to try it!

  • Lisa Bynum
    October 4, 2018 at 10:50 am

    Just pinned this! I have a pork butt in the freezer that I bought a few weeks ago on sale. Couldn’t decide what to do with it, but now I think I have my idea. I’ve never tried injecting my meat with the marinade, but now I’m intrigued.

    • Coco and Ash
      October 4, 2018 at 1:18 pm

      Thanks so much Lisa! Injecting it really gets that flavor all the way through!!

  • Linda
    October 4, 2018 at 10:52 am

    I love Cuban pork and get some of the best of the best here in South Florida. I love your recipe as I haven’t seen one that injects the mojo but I bet it turns out so moist and flavorful that it is well worth the effort. And black beans and rice are a must with this meal. Can’t wait to give it a try!

    • Coco and Ash
      October 4, 2018 at 1:17 pm

      I hope you get to try this one Linda! Our family has been making it this way for years! 🙂

  • Christie
    October 20, 2018 at 8:49 am

    Hi Mindy!
    I have a question. Probably a dumb one 🤣. I’m not clear on the part where you say to put the roasting rack in the pan with water. Do you roast it w the water or do you refrigerate that way?
    Not sure what the point of the water is.
    Help!
    Thanks!

    • Coco and Ash
      October 20, 2018 at 10:11 am

      Hi Christie! Sorry it was confusing. It gets roasted with the water in the bottom of the pan. It just creates some steam during the cooking process. I only do it before I put it in the refrigerator so that I don’t have to open up the foil again. 🙂 I hope that makes sense!

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