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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Elle's Kitchen: Pernil

Today is my brother's birthday so in honor of his special
day I thought I would blog about a meal he made the last 
time he visited my house.  My brother lives 750 miles 
away from me but we are very close and talk all the time
about food and travel and sometimes about the crazy life
of being in show business or being an artist.  This meal was
made back in November when he was here for Thanksgiving
week.  I took pictures for the blog and then never got a chance
to write about it.  Thanksgiving week was nuts with a house
filled with people and dogs, then we had the hell week after
when Murphy's Law struck in a week that was already 
jammed with catch-up things to do, then it was off to Mexico
for a few weeks with a new computer that did not have the 
photos of the pernil, then home for Christmas and New Years
and kids home from school and then working on a few books,
designing, filling orders and just a crazy life in general.   I'm not 
sure when he got the idea in his head to make this recipe.  I'm 
pretty sure it started with running down the block between
performances on matinee days (my brother works on
Broadway) to the Puerto Rican lady that sells the great food
or from the day his neighbor Sadie was making Pernil for a 
family party when her stove caught on fire and she thought
she would have to cancel the party but he said no bring it
over and cook it in my stove.   So, now it is time for the recipe!

Buy a pork shoulder roast, he says bone-in is best for 
flavor.  Of course, in typical my brother fashion, one
roast was not enough! Put the roast in a roasting pan
and stab it all over on both sides.  I mean really take 
out all your aggressions here and stab deeply because
you want to get the flavor inside the roast.

Get some Adobo and oregano and peel and slice 
lots of garlic.

Sprinkle the roast with the oregano and some Adobo, don't 
go too heavy on the Adobo because it is salty.  Now rub it in
with your fingers and push the spices into the holes from
the knife.  Do this to both sides.

Next take all those garlic slices and push them into the
holes, get them in a deeply as possible to get the flavor
all through the meat.

Drizzle with olive oil and rub it gently, you don't want
to rub off the spices.

Cover & cook at 400F degrees for one hour then reduce heat
to 300F and cook an additional nine hours.  Your house
will smell like a garlic factory.  Place a pan beneath your
roasting pan because it may overflow with juices.

Remove the bones from the roast.

Take the roast from the pan and transfer to a 
sheet pan and shred or pull apart the meat.

Make and avocado sauce by placing an avocado with an
equal amount of crumbled feta cheese, a few shakes of
hot sauce, a handful of fresh cilantro, some parsley if you
have it, fresh lime juice and a shake or two of Adobo. 
Puree and then add a little milk just to make it creamy.
If you have a container like a hot dog or ketchup squeeze
bottle, that works perfectly but I warn you, you may be
 tempted to squirt this delicious sauce directly down your 

Serve with Spanish rice

and black beans.

This was an absolutely delicious meal and if you
have any leftover meat, make Cuban sandwiches 
the next day.

Happy Birthday Midi!


  1. WOW.....that looks fabulous...I love to cook and except for the black beans I have to try this...I'm assuming this could be made in a crock pot instead of the oven...I love to cook pork in the crock pot. Nothing comes better...What is your brother doing these days in NY....is he still designing sets or does he perform?? Mike used to be so proud of him...he talked about him all the time...

    1. Sue, I guess you could do it in a crockpot. Mike is a Production Prop Supervisor on many Broadway shows and he is also working on the new Spring Spectacular at Radio City.