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Dec 27, 2006 10:56 PM

Pernil vs. lechon

I've eaten both but have never cooked either one. I think they're basically the same (Puerto Rican vs. Cuban versions of the same dish) but don't actually know. Anyone out there have any ideas? Or recipes? I'm thinking of trying it for New Year's.

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  1. depends on the spanish-speaking cuisine you're working within. in spain pernil is catalan cured ham (delicious!) and lechón is roast suckling pig...

    1. No, I definitely mean the Puerto Rican pernil, which is a fresh pork shoulder/picnic roast with the skin on. Lechon I have had at a Cuban restaurant, but it might well translate to roast sucking pig; I don't know.

      1. The lechon asado recipe the 3 Guys from Miami have on their website is delicious. First time I made it, in the oven, the smell of the 20 cloves of garlic filled the house. The second time, overnight on the GrillDome, with charcoal only, no smoking wood, was a thing of beauty. I used a collared picnic shoulder both times, $0.99/lb at a local butcher.

        1. I'll have to confirm this with my mom, who's Puerto Rican, but I believe that lechon is the roast suckling pig (whole pig on a spit, preferably off the side of the road somewhere in P.R.) and pernil is some sort of pork roast, which is more commonly made at home. I don't know what kind of pork roast (definitely not tenderloin--not fatty enough) but this is usually what I have at my mom's house around the holidays.
          Both lechon and pernil have similar seasoning, adobo--onions, garlic, green pepper.

          I'm not sure how it differs in Cuba or anywhere else.

          1. As far as my experience, I always thought Pernil was Puerto Rican or Cuban in origin, and Lechon was Spanish, or in my case Filipino. The only difference were the spices and cooking method, though the cut of pork was the same, shoulder, shank, butt... or even whole pig.

            Does anyone have a secret to getting the skin to be paper crispy?

            My wife who is Canadian, makes a beautiful, but normal pork roast by cooking at 325 degrees for 2-3 hours. It is fall of the bone tender, but the skin is wasted... which as a Filipino seems criminal to me. I sometimes take the skin and try to recook it, but never get it right.

            I've also taken that roast, added onions, cilantro and lime, and made amazing tacos, but when you see Anthony Bourdain eat that roast suckling pig in the Philippines episode, it looks like he's eating a see through pork rind... so jealous.