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Recipe for a great Christmas Pt. 1 – Pernil navideño venezolano (venezuelan roast pork)

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Recipe for 6 with lots of left overs, like sandwiches, etc.


2,5 kg of pork shoulder (in Venezuela it’s done with a whole leg)

4 oranges

3 lemons

6 cloves

3 medium size cloves of garlic cut in half

Salt & pepper

1 capsicum

1 medium size onion


The day before roasting, make a marinade with the juice of the oranges, lemons, a tea spoon each of orange and lemon rind and 2 cloves. Grate the onion and the capsicum and add them into the mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To prepare the meat, make  6 small incisions (spread evenly over the piece) all the way to the middle of the roast with the tip of a sharp knife. Fill each incision with a piece of garlic and insert a clove into 4 of them.

Place the meat and marinade in a deep roasting dish with a thick base and cover with a lid or alfoil. Leave in the fridge overnight (or in the coldest room of the house with the window open if you live in a city where a white Christmas is not just a dream).


To roast the meat, which is now full of flavour, place it in a low oven pre-heated to 170 degrees celsius. It is very important to baste the meat every 20 minutes or so, by spooning the marinade over it to ensure that the roast is juicy at the end. After an hour, turn the roast over, so that the top half is now bathed in the marinade. There are many formulas to calculate how long to cook a roast for. We just kept an eye on the juices coming out of the meat and when they seemed to be running clear, we cut into the thickest part to ensure that it was cooked through.

When the meat is cooked, remove the marinade and juices from the roasting dish and pour them into a small saucepan. Turn the oven to the grill setting and leave it for approximately 10 minutes or until the top is golden brown. While the meat is grilling, prepare the gravy by adding 150 ml. of red wine or beer to the marinade and thicken it over a low heat with a spoon or two of flour which has been dissolved in a splash of cold water.

When the meat is finished grilling, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.


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