OF YOUR LIFE
Barbeque was never his specialty, but this
was a special occasion BY JOHN DONOHUE
PERNIL ( ) PUERTO RICAN PORK ROAST
As a guy who loves to cook, I
have an Achilles heel—I really
don’t like to barbecue. The first
time I ever lit a gas grill, in college,
I singed my eyebrows. I’ve kept
my head from catching fire since
then, yet too often I find grilling
to be a pulse-raising experience.
Still, there are times when only a
barbecue will do. Three summers
ago my father was going into the
final rounds of a long bout with
prostate cancer. We were eager to
spend an afternoon with him, so
we decided on a family barbecue.
Since this could very well be our
last barbecue together, I wanted to
make something special. But I was
also desperate to enjoy his company, and I didn’t want to spend
the day standing sentinel over hot
coals, stressed out about the meal.
After much deliberation, I
decided on pernil, a savory Puerto
Rican pork roast that is a joy to eat
and practically cooks itself—in the
oven. While the fat on the pork
was caramelizing in the kitchen, I
was sitting in the shade beside my
father, talking and reminiscing.
As he watched my two little girls
playing, he shared his philosophy
about raising a family, which he
summed up this way: “You just get
another bunk bed.” I understood
then that being the man of the
house was about finding simple
solutions to complicated problems. Like my no-grill barbecue. ;
5 or more cloves garlic, peeled
1 onion, quartered
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 tablepoon olive oil
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
1 lime, juiced
¼ cup orange juice
1 pork shoulder ( 3 to 4 pounds)
John Donohue is the author of
Man With a Pan.
1 Combine the first 11 ingredients
in a food processor and blend.
2 Score the meat with a cross-
hatched pattern and marinate in the
mixture overnight in the refrigerator.
3 The next day bring the meat to
room temperature, place on a rack
in a pan with a little water, and roast
for 3 hours at 300˚F until tender.
Let meat rest for 10 minutes before
serving, shredded, in a tortilla.
Nutrients per serving: 602 calories, 60g
protein, 29g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 26g fat,
194mg cholesterol, 1,310mg sodium
TARA DONNE (FOOD STYLIST: SIMON ANDREWS; PROP STYLIST: ANGHARAD BAILEY)