Puerto Rican Roast Pork (Pernil Horneado) and Arroz con Gandules (Spanish Rice with Pigeon Peas)

This New Years Eve I am hosting a small party at my house. I decided to make a Puerto Rican favorite for my guests, Pernil Horneado (Puerto Rican Roast Pork) served with Arroz con Gandules (Rice and Pigeon Peas). My family always makes this meal for holidays and special occasions. I am serving it buffet style so I can enjoy the party.  I marinate the pork 1 day ahead of time and slow roast it in a Dutch oven. I try to time the roast to be finished just as my guests are arriving. The aroma the pork creates in the house is amazing and is what reminds me of the holidays.
Puerto Rican Roast Pork (Pernil Horneado)

6-8 pound Boston Butt (bone in)
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
½ tsp dried cilantro
1/2  tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp ground cumin
6 cloves peeled garlic

1 large green pepper (coarsely chopped)
½ med onion (coarsely chopped)
1 jalapeno pepper (seeded)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp orange juice
4 tbsp light olive oil

Rinse pork with cold water. Then dry completely with paper towels. Put remaining ingredients in small food processor and pulse until it become a smooth paste. Place pork butt into a 1 gallon zip lock bag and pour in the marinade. Seal bag and rub marinade into the meat. Place bag in refrigerator for 24 hours. Turn bag and rub in marinade a few times during the 24 hours. Remove bag from refrigerator ½  hour before cooking and set on counter to reach room temperature. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Place pork into large Dutch oven fat side up and pour excess marinade over top. Cover Dutch oven with the lid and place in the center of the oven. Cook the pork for 4 hours (do not remove lid).  When pork is done remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before opening lid. Open lid and remove the bone with tongs (it should pull out easily). Leave pan juices in pan. The pork should shake like Jell-O. Place pork on cutting board and chop it into chunks then shred  the pork with a fork and place on a serving platter. Add ½ cup of water to pan and  cook on stove top at low heat and scraping bottom of pan for 2 minutes then pour liquid into a large measuring cup and let rest for 1 minute to let the fat rise to the top. Ladle some of the fat from the measuring cup reserving the meat juice. Pour remaining liquid over the pork.

Arroz con Gandules (Spanish Rice with Pigeon Peas)

1 medium onion coarsely chopped
1 green pepper coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno pepper quartered and seeded
½  tsp dried cilantro
1/8 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1/8 cup light olive oil
1  8 oz. can of tomato sauce
2 ½ cups chicken broth
1 can pigeon peas (do not drain)
2 cups long grain rice

Place onion, green pepper, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper and olive oil into food processor and puree. Place puree into large oven-proof pot and heat over medium flame for 3 minutes. Add tomato sauce, chicken broth and pigeon peas to pot and bring to a boil. Add rice to pot and cook uncovered until water level drops below the rice. Remove pot from heat. Cover the pot and place into 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. When done remove pot from oven and let rest (covered) for 5 minutes. Uncover the rice and fluff with a fork.


About Renee Lalane
I was born and raised in New York. Later in life I moved to Central Florida. I am of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Puerto Rican and Cuban decent. I have been working in the restaurant business for most of my life and have owned five along the way. Recently I became aware of the fact that as my elders passed away their recipes passed with them. I call these recipes "Heirloom Recipes" I am dedicating this site to saving recipes from extinction. Not only recipes from my family but from yours. Do you have a unique recipe that needs saving? Send it to me along with a name and picture of your relative and I will review it and possibly post it as an Heirloom Recipe.

2 Responses to Puerto Rican Roast Pork (Pernil Horneado) and Arroz con Gandules (Spanish Rice with Pigeon Peas)

  1. Pingback: New Years Eve 2013 Party « thefloribeancook

  2. Jim Milligan says:

    Another great recipe. Extremely well written and easy to follw. My family loved the entire meal. Thanks again Renee


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