Primal Grill with Steven Raichlen
Season 3 in High Definition
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Primal Grill is filmed at Esplendor Resort in Rio Rico.
Episode: 305 :: Burn in the USA
Puerto Rican Pork Shoulder
Method: Spit-roasting and indirect grilling
Serves: 6 to 8
leave yourself an hour or so for prepping and spit-roasting.
Category: Meat
1 6- to 7-pound pork shoulder (with skin on see note above)

3 cloves garlic, cut into 1/4-inch slivers
1 bunch fresh oregano

For the sazon (rub):

2 tablespoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried sage

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

For the annatto oil (optional if you don't use annatto oil, baste with more olive oil):

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup annatto seeds

7UP Barbecue Sauce (optional see below)

Other Items Needed:
butchers string; about 5 cups hardwood chips or chunks, soaked in water for 1 hour, then drained (optional)

Carefully remove the skin from the pork shoulder and set aside. Using the tip of your paring knife, make a series of cuts in the pork roast, each about 1/2-inch deep and wide and spaced 2 inches apart. Place a sliver of garlic and a sprig of oregano in each slit.

Make the rub; Combine the salt, oregano, garlic, pepper, and sage in a bowl and stir with your fingers to mix. Sprinkle this mixture over the pork shoulder on all sides. (You may not need all the rub, it depends on the size and shape of the pork shoulder. Any excess keeps well and is good to have on hand for an impromptu grill session.)

Put the pork skin back on the roast and tie it in place with butchers string or pin it in place with bamboo skewers.

Make the annatto oil: Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the annatto seeds and fry until fragrant and brown and the oil turns bright orange, 2 to 4 minutes. Immediately, strain the oil into a heatproof bowl. Discard the seeds.

Rotisserie method:

Set up your grill for spit-roasting and build a medium fire. Thread the roast on the spit and place it on the rotisserie.

Spit-roast the pork shoulder until dark golden brown on the outside, and completely cooked through, 3 to 3-1/2 hours with the grill uncovered, 1 hour less if you cover the grill. After 30 minutes, start basting the pork with the annatto oil and baste once every 30 minutes. If a smoke flavor is desired, toss the wood chips on the coals of your gas grill, or place in the smoker box of your rotisserie. Use an instant-read meat thermometer to check for done-ness. The internal temperature should be 190 degrees.

Indirect grilling method:

Set up your grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium-low. Place the pork shoulder skin side up in the center of the grate over the drip pan away from the heat. Toss 1-1/2 cups wood chips on the coals. Smoke-roast the pork shoulder until dark golden brown on the outside and cooked through, 3 to 3-1/2 hours. Start basting with the annatto oil after 1 hour and continue basting every 30 minutes. If using a charcoal grill, replenish the coals every hour and add wood chips the first 2 hours. If using a gas grill, put the chips in the smoker box or make a smoker pouch. Use an instant-read meat thermometer to check for done-ness. The internal temperature should be 190 degrees.

Transfer the pork shoulder to a cutting board. Remove the skin and cut it into 1-inch squares. It will crisp the minute it starts to cool. Thinly slice the pork and serve it with the cracklings and one of the sauces below
7UP Barbecue Sauce
Serves: Makes about 1-1/2 cups
Category: N/A
1 cup 7UP
1 cup ketchup
1 cup of your favorite sweet red barbecue sauce
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Soft drink-based barbecue sauces turn up across Planet Barbecue, and whether they owe their popularity to the sweet-sour flavor dynamic or simply the convenience and whimsy of using a beverage thats in your hand to flavor the meat, I cant say. What I can say is that youll find it throughout the Spanish-speaking world, from Puerto Rico to the Philippines.

Place the 7UP, ketchup, and barbecue sauce in a saucepan and whisk to mix. Gently simmer over medium heat until thick and richly flavored, 10 to 15 minutes.
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