Almost every Sunday afternoon while growing up in Colombia, my family would get together at my grandmother’s house. Cousins, uncles, aunts, and my immediate family would all gather and enjoy Mamita’s cooking. There were times those family gatherings would be for something special, like birthdays, holidays, or to celebrate an achievement. That’s when Mamita would pull out the best and most festive Colombian recipes. This Colombian-Style Pernil Asado is one of those dishes. Even today, it’s a family favorite, and my mom and aunts make it as wonderful as Mamita did way back when…
Colombian-Style Pernil Asado, is pork leg, marinated in a sauce made with beer, onion, garlic, scallions, red bell pepper, achiote, cumin, then slow roasted in the oven for several hours. This recipe is time consuming, as the pork leg needs to marinate for at least two days to enhance the flavor. However, if you don’t have the time, it is possible to marinate the pork just overnight. This is one dish that is definitely worth the wait!
Pernil Asado is one of the most traditional and classic holiday dishes in Colombia and other Latin American countries, every country with its own version. It’s a popular dish to serve on Christmas Eve and at New Year’s Eve parties. Colombian Pernil Asado is not only served during the holiday season, but is also popular at other celebrations such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduations, weddings, baptisms and birthday parties. This is a delicious celebratory dish full of flavor that suits all occasions and festivities and will be the star of your dinner table. The leftovers are even better the next day for making sandwiches! I like to serve this dish with ripe plantains (tajadas de maduro), potato salad (ensalada rusa), and rice with cola (arroz con coca-cola) on the side. I hope you enjoy this pernil recipe as much as I do!
1 (10 to 12 pounds) bone-in pork leg
8 scallions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 large white onion, diced
10 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tablespoons of ground cumin
2 tablespoon of white vinegar
Salt and pepper, to your taste
6 cups of dark beer
1 tablespoons of ground achiote
- Place pork in a large non-reactive roasting pan that fits in the fridge and your oven.
- To make the marinade: Place the scallions, red bell pepper, onion, crushed garlic, ground cumin, vinegar, salt and pepper in the blender or food processor. Process until well combined.
- Make deep incisions on both sides of pork leg and rub the marinade all over the pork. Cover pan with plastic wrap and let marinate for 24 hours in the fridge.
- Pour the beer and ground achiote over the pork leg and let it marinate for another 24 hours, turning the leg every 8 hours. When ready to cook, remove from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 325F . Cover roasting pan tightly with foil and place in oven on lowest rack to bake for about 5 to 7 hours or until tender. To keep the pork leg from drying out you will need to bathe the pork leg with the pan sauces, using a soup ladle, about every 20 minutes.
- When the pork is tender remove foil from pan and let broil about 5 to 7 minutes, or until skin is crisp and crackling.