Pernil al Horno, Braised Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta, Crispy Rosemary & Sage Fingerling Potatoes

(As you can see, I didn’t get a good shot of the dish… I was running around trying to get everything finished as the dinner guest were arriving…)

Pernil al Horno:

This is something I saw once on a cooking show, and thought “I wanna eat that.” But, I couldn’t find a place that serves this dish. So, I figured out how to cook it. Anytime I am having a dinner party, this is the first thing that pops into my head to cook.

5-6 lb “Boston butt” pork shoulder – bone in, preferably with the skin still on.

Spice Rub:
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp fresh cracked black pepper

1 large sweet yellow onion (Walla Walla or Mayan)
“A handful” fresh oregano, stems removed
2 limes
1 cup of orange juice
1 cup of beer (I like to use Two Cats Kölsch by Capture by Porches – something not too hoppy but unpasteurized, so the yeast gets into the marinade.)

An entire head of garlic – puréed into a paste

Take the pork shoulder, and make a criss-cross pattern with a paring knife on the two sides that have the most fat – cutting at least a 1/4 inch into the meat. Mix all of the ingredients for the Spice Rub into a shaker, and cover the meat with the mixture. Then, rub it in good with you hands, getting down into the slits you have cut.

For the Marinade, purée the onion and oregano in a food processor. Mix into a large non-conductive container with the beer, orange juice, and the juice from the two limes. Place meat into the container, seal, and put in the refrigerator overnight.

When you are ready to cook, smear the puréed garlic paste into the slits on the fatty side of the meat.

Now… I use a “Big Easy Oiless Turkey Fryer” to cook this. If you have access to one of these, you should cook the shoulder on the lowest setting and cook for 8 hours. But, you can also cook this in an oven at 350°F in a basting pan or on a grilling rack. Cook pork for about 35 minutes per pound or until meat registers 150°F on a meat thermometer. The meat should fall apart with a fork.

The Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta recipe can be found here and the Crispy Rosemary & Sage Fingerling Potatoes can be found here.

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For the beer to serve with dinner, I decided to go with a bottle of the Kindred  collaboration between The Commons Brewery and Widmer Brothers Brewing.