Wednesday, May 11, 2011

pernil al horno

Pernil al horno is a traditional Puerto Rican preparation of pork shoulder. I've used this method of preparation before with a loin roast, which was decent - but a shoulder roast has more fat running through it as well as on top of it which keeps the meat succulent.

Mmmm, porky goodness!

The method of preparation is dead simple, really. For a 5lb roast, I threw 4 big cloves of garlic, half an onion, 2 teaspoons of sea salt, 2 teaspoons of black pepper, 1 tablespoon of dried oregano, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a food processor and let it whiz until it was a paste / liquid. The fat cap on top of the roast got scored and then the paste was evenly schmeared over the meat, into every crack and crevice! The roast was put in a pan, covered with foil and stuck in the fridge for about 5 hours, then the oven was preheated to 350 and the roast was added to it. It baked for about 3.5 hours, with the pan being rotated a half-turn every hour or so. I let it sit for about 20 minutes while I prepared my side-dishes, then it was go-time:

The side dishes are spinach sauteed with shallots in a little bit of coconut oil, and a sort of black beak succotash I made up on the fly and really enjoyed. To make the beans, I chopped up a little bit of bacon and let it render in a pot until crispy then scooped it out to drain and reserved about a teaspoon of the fat in the pot. To the hot fat I added half of a chopped yellow onion. I let the onion cook until it was softened a little, then added a can of black beans which I had previously rinsed thoroughly. The beans and onion cooked on medium high for a few minutes, then I added a can of diced tomatoes and a tiny pinch of sugar to balance out the acid. When everything was warmed through, I scooped it into a serving bowl and topped it with the crisp bits of bacon I'd rendered the fat from earlier. It was quite good for just sort of thinking it up on the fly, and while legumes aren't considered part of a "primal" or "paleo" diet, I think enjoying them every once in a while probably isn't that bad. :)