A few days ago, my best friend from high school sent me a recipe. She insisted that I try it... especially since it was guaranteed to be "super cheap," "super delicious" and "SUPER HILARIOUS."
But first, I must add a disclaimer. There is profanity in this recipe. Lots of profanity. These are not my words - they are merely the words of a crazy Puerto Rican living in New York City, sharing his beloved pernil recipe with the world. So please, if you're offended by profanity, or if you will think less of me for including profanity in a blog post, stop reading. If you continue reading... you do so at your own risk, and are not allowed to judge me for it! Now... let's cook! My comments are in italics... the original author's words are in red.
You need MEAT.
OK, first of all, fuck eating lips and assholes. There is a much, much tastier option that has kept millions of starving boriquas alive for generations: PORK SHOULDER.
In my neighborhood in Brooklyn, pork shoulder is 79 cents a pound. That's right. 79 cents. A package of hot dogs at $2.50 is more than double the price and has offal and all sorts of vile shit inside.
Buy yourself a nice meaty pork shoulder. Five pounds should do nicely. (Ours was 7 lbs.)
Bring that fucker home and get out a long, thin knife.
In a pilon (that's a mortar and pestle gringo) smash up a few cloves of garlic, some sazon, some salt, some pepper and some oil. Grind it up GOOD. Now you have another ghetto sofrito. (We used a handy-dandy electric grinder my parents bought us for Christmas.)
Take your knife and stab some holes in the pig. Twist the knife around so the holes get nice and wide. (In hindsight, we should have stabbed the pig a few more times. Next time it'll look like swiss cheese!)
Now, take some of your sofrito and stuff it into the holes. Don't be shy blanco, ram it in there. Use the remainder to roughly coat the outside of the pig. RUB IT. CARESS IT. This pig died so that you may eat. Salt that shit all over the outside and crack some fucking pepper on there.
Set your oven for 300 degrees.
Throw the pork in skin side up and WAIT.
It's going to take 45 minutes a pound...
A warning: The smell is going to drive you fucking INSANE. You have to wait this part out. Farm work is the best cure.
After an hour and a half, jab it with a meat thermometer, but remember not to rest it on the bone, or you will get a bad reading.
You should be at around 150-160 degrees. Now comes the fun part. CRANK the stove up to 400 degrees. This will give you an orgasmic, crispy skin that will make your pork rinds taste like year-old cardboard by comparison.
At 170ish, pull that fucker out, but DON'T carve it up. You need to wait at least ten minutes otherwise all those sweet, sweet pig juices will dribble the fuck out. WAIT.
Congratulations. You just make Pernil. A five pound Pernil should give you meat for at least a week. SAVOR IT BROTHER. SAVOR IT.
Seriously... doesn't that just make your mouth water? I wish the internet had smell-o-vision, because the smell of a freshly roasted Pernil is enough to make the authorities label it as a controlled substance. The meat was so juicy and tender, it was literally falling apart like a pot roast. The flavor was so rich and so strong that we couldn't eat too much of it at first... the awesomeness was overpowering!
This evening, I chopped some of it up and made Pernil tacos - soft corn tortillas, Pernil, sour cream, onions and cilantro. Delicious, and profanely so.