Roasted Pork Leg, Pernil de Cerdo

Roasted Pork Leg

Pernil de Cerdo

(serves 16-18, depending on size of leg)

This is a dish traditionally made for Christmas, but at our Greek-Colombian-Italian place, it is also a big hit on Thanksgiving… Another recipe that is not that easy to make but well worth the effort.  Enjoy!


Pernil in the oven

Pernil in the oven (Photo credit: eggrollstan)

1 pork leg

3 Bay leaves

½ tsp. pepper

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 Tbs. sugar

1 can/bottle Ginger Ale

1 can/ bottle beer

5 tsp. salt

4 sprigs of thyme

2 Tbs. mustard

1 cup red wine

5 red onions, chopped

½ cup cider vinegar

½ cup water

5 tsp. sage

5 tsp. marjoram

½ cup brown sugar

10 cloves


  • Mix all ingredients except Ginger Ale, mustard, red wine, brown sugar, cloves, and pork leg.
  • Strain part of the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and inject into the pork leg.
  • Marinade in the refrigerator with the rest of the marinade mixture, constantly basting and injecting for 48 hours.  (Hey, nobody said it was easy!)
  • After 48 hours, preheat oven to 400°.
  • Baste the pork leg one last time and rub with the salt, onion, and herbs that have collected at the bottom of your marinating pan.
  • Reserve most of the marinating liquid for basting in the oven.
  • Place the leg in a 400° for 10 minutes and then lower heat to 250°, cooking 30 minutes for every pound.
  • Mix the reserved marinating liquid with the Ginger Ale.  Baste with mixture every 30 minutes.
  • 1 hour before being done, remove from the oven and cut skin in a diamond pattern.
  • Mix the brown sugar, wine and mustard.
  • Rub mixture on pork and add the cloves to the center of each diamond
  • Return to oven until pork leg reaches an internal temperature of  170°


From my mom:

Pierna de Cerdo


3 hojas de laurel                                                1 taza de vino rojo

½ cucharadita de pimienta                           5 cebollas rojas picadas

¼ taza de aceite                                                ½ taza de vinagre de cidra

1 cucharada azúcar                                            ½ taza agua

1 Ginger Ale                                                             1 cerveza

5 cucharaditas sal, tomillo                                5 cucharaditas salvia, mejorana, laurel

1 pernil de cerdo                                                ½ taza de panela rayada

2 cucharadas de mostaza                                  10 clavos de olor

Se mezclan todos los ingredientes excepto la Ginger.  Se cuelan en un colador muy fino, con esta mezcla se inyecta el pernil.  Se rosea e inyecta durante dos días en la nevera.  Antes de ponerlo al horno se coge todo el liquido sobrante se revuelve con la sal y se le unta por todos lados.  Se mete al horno a 400° durante 10 minutos.  Se baja a 250° y se cocina durante 30 minutos por cada libra de peso.  Cada ½ hora se baña con la salsa y la Ginger.  Una hora antes de servir se le hace un corte de diamante y se frota con panela rayada la mostaza y el vino rojo. Se le ponen los clavos y se vuelve a poner al horno