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  • The women who raised Pedro Rafael Rosado would be the first to admit they really weren't chefs. His grandmother was a cafeteria cook, so her aim in preparing food was sheer quantity, not quality. His mother made pork chops so tough you could use them to hammer nails, and she did not like cooking at all. So it was up to his Dad to cook the bulk of the meals when Pedro and his brother were growing up.

    "In Puerto Rico, the main meal was lunch. Back then, you had a big huge lunch to power you through the day, and most men were out working and most women were at home taking care of the kids. I think the switch to the more American style of having the big meal in the evening kind of changed that dynamic a little bit. I would imagine that in some families the fathers are more involved, and in the States and Puerto Rico the job of raising the family is now mostly shared by both parents."

    Even though his father did the lion's share of the cooking, and enjoyed it, Pedro's mother did make a few traditional Puerto Rican dishes really well and she took great pride in preparing them. Specifically, she made a wonderful pernil, or roasted pork shoulder, which Pedro has tried to replicate for his own family. But his success, he says, has been limited.

    "I will still occasionally attempt because I still have an affinity for Puerto Rican food, and my wife will try to make Puerto Rican dishes for me...but we end up calling out for food. I'm a whiz at delivery, does that count?"

    Pedro Rafael Rosado is manager of video operations at the New York Times and lives in New York with his wife and two kids. In his spare time, not only is he a co-host of About Men Radio, he also co-hosts the Pop Tech Jam podcast with author J.D Biersdorfer, and the Robles and Rosado podcast with comedian Mike Robles. Pedro is the co-founder of HeadStepper Media, a digital production company.

    This story was produced for "Coming to the Table" from Feet In Two Worlds.

  • Pedro's Family Recipe for Pernil Al Horno - Part 1

    One bone in pork shoulder with thick outer skin.

    Rinse the shoulder under cold water.

    Completely remove the skin (set aside).

    Semi-detach the roast from the bone.

    Poke holes all over the meatiest part of the roast (about 4 to 6 depending in the size).

    Crush garlic cloves. Use already puréed garlic and fill the holes up. Rub lots of the garlic all over the roast and in the separated area between the roast and bone.

    Rub oregano and adobo on roast also (to taste). Also on both sides of the skin which was placed aside.

    Add more garlic, oregano, adobo or recaíto to approximately 1/4 cup of white vinegar and approximately 2 tbs of olive oil.

    (Recaíto is a seasoning base made from a mix of onions, garlic, ajicitos, green bell pepper, green cubanelle pepper and lots of cilantro and culantro.)

    Place roast and skin in a ziploc bag with the garlic, oregano, adobo and oil and vinegar mix and refrigerate overnight.

  • Pedro's Family Recipe for Pernil Al Horno - Part 2

    Take roast out of the fridge and preheat the oven to 450 for 20 to 25 minutes. When the roast is at room temperature, place it on a grate in a shallow roasting pan and pour the mixture left in the ziploc over the roast. Add about 1/4 of water to the bottom of the pan.

    Place the roast in the middle rack of the oven at 450 for 15 to 20 minutes with the skin gently placed over the roast.

    After 15-20 minutes, lower the temperature to 325 and loosely cover the roast with aluminum foil, leaving just the top and a bit of the sides covered. Cook for 30-35 minutes a pound.

    Occasionally baste the roast with the drippings in the bottom of the roasting pan.

    Do not over baste the skin.

    Turn the roast over halfway through the cooking time.

    After time is complete, uncover the roast and remove the skin. Place the skin on a separate piece of foil fatty side up and place on the top rack for 15-20 minutes. In this remaining time, the roast will brown and the skin will become crispy.

    Remove roast and skin from the oven, let them sit for 10-15 minutes before carving.

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