I woke up at my usual 4 AM this morning and was out to my Jeep by about 4:30 only to find a coating of snow… my first thought… RATS what happened to Spring! Then I was reminded of the conversation I had with my wife last night… Dorcas had shown me photos she had come across on the internet. They were of natural snow crystals. We were commenting on how beautiful and intricate their symmetrical designs were; as if a master artist hand-crafted each one with great care and precision. Each one with its own special pattern, each one so different from the next, each one just as striking. Exquisite!
Magnified man-made snow crystal
And then we looked at a photo of a man-made snow crystal… well, you tell me...
Of course there's always Designer Snow Flakes made in a lab under controlled conditions...
So, here's the buzz on pernil... just like I promised.
Pernil is pork shoulder and although it's a cheap cut of meat I personally think it's one of the tastiest... that is if you cook it right. The trick is to cook it low and slow baby. I usually cook mine throughout the night and keep vigil while sleeping on the couch (which is close to the kitchen.) My wife always accuses me of keeping her up when I make a pernil... not because I'm making so much noise (however, I've been known to do that too) rather it's because she say it smells so good. Man does it every too... the aroma of that roasting pernil wafts all through the house making everyone hungry. My wife's family always says I make it better than the Puerto Ricans. That's not true though... maybe just as good but, no better (boy, that was a meager attempt at humility... ha, ha, ha!) Any way OK... so, here we go... oh, BTW, all amounts are approximate...
10-15 lb Pernil (Pork shoulder)
2-4 heads of garlic
salt / pepper to taste (at least 4T / 2T)
1/4 cup or so olive oil
a splash red wine vinegar (about 2T)
dry oregano (about 1T)
Mash pealed garlic with salt and mix in pepper, olive oil, red wine vinegar and dry oregano (making a paste) - set aside
Rise pernil and separate the layer of fat and skin from the meat with a sharp knife leaving a bit still attached at the bone end - pierce the meat all over on both sides
Rub the whole pernil with lime juice letting it soak in to where you have pierced as well
Place the pernil in a baking dish and rub the entire pernil (bottom and top) with the garlic mixture making sure to get it into where you have pierced (you could also stuff the piercings with garlic cloves)
Pull the skin and fat layer back over the top and cover the baking dish tightly with tin foil - bake covered at 275 for around 8 hours (or until the meat has becomes fork tender) then remove the foil and raise the heat to 450 and bake until the skin become hard and crispy - remove from the oven and let rest about 10 minutes and then 'pull' the pernil with a fork - ENJOY