Orange and Piloncillo Adobo Pork Roast


Orange and Piloncillo Adobo Pork Roast

Orange and Piloncillo Adobo Pork Roast

Pierna de Cerdo en Adobo de Naranja y Piloncillo

Recipe Yield

10 servings

Cooking time

5 hours

Rate this recipe

3.80 from 5 votes


  • 1 10-pound pork picnic shoulder bone in, with skin and fat on
  • 8 guajillo chiles stemmed and seeded
  • 6 ounces piloncillo
  • 2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ white onion coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 8 whole cloves stems discarded
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon whole allspice
  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 2 dried bay leaves

To Prepare

  • To make the adobo sauce, on a preheated comal set over medium-low heat, toast the guajillos for about a minute per side. Place them in a medium saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes until chiles plump up and rehydrate. Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, place the piloncillo and pour a cup of water over it. Set it over low heat, cover and let it simmer 6 to 8 minutes until the piloncillo has completely dissolved into the water creating a syrup. Set aside.
  • In the jar of a blender, add the chiles along with 2 cups of their cooking liquid, orange juice, piloncillo syrup, onion, garlic, stemmed whole cloves, oregano, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, allspice, black peppercorns, and salt. Puree until completely smooth.
  • Preheat oven to 450℉ and place a rack in the lowest part of the oven.
  • With a very sharp knife, score through the skin and fat of the pork shoulder, but not into the meat, in a diamond pattern. Place in a large dutch oven or braiser, with the skin side up. Cover with the adobo sauce, making sure there is sauce under the meat as well. Toss in the bay leaves.
  • Roast in the oven uncovered for 1 hour. Then remove from the oven, flip the pork skin side down, and cover with a lid. Reduce the oven temperature to 350℉, return the pork to the oven, and cook for 2 more hours. Remove from the oven, flip the pork again so it’s back to skin side up. Cover with the lid and return it to the oven for another 2 hours.
  • At this point, the meat should be falling from the bone if you insert a fork or take a piece with a pair of tongs. If not, place back in the oven for another half hour. Remove from the oven, uncover, and let cool slightly (skim 4 tablespoons of fat from the surface and set aside to make the Orange Adobo Pizza Sauce).
  • Once cool enough to handle, remove the pork from the braiser and place on a large chopping board. Leave the adobo sauce in the braiser (set aside 1 cup of adobo sauce for the Orange Adobo Pizza Sauce). Discard the bay leaves.
  • Using a meat fork and a sharp knife, thinly slice the meat, which should be falling apart. Discard the bone. Place all the meat back in the adobo sauce left in the braiser. Toss to coat.
  • Eat the meat with tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, nachos, on top of rice, or use it as a topping for pizza!

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53comments inOrange and Piloncillo Adobo Pork Roast

  1. S Sinclair

    Feb 04

    ja ja ja ja ja. A primera vista, pensé que decía trasero de cerdo de 110 libras. Para 8 porciones. Supongo que tal vez si tienes mucha hambre.

    Fue que rico!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 08

      Jajaja, me hiciste reir!

  2. Michelle W

    Jan 18

    This recipe is so delicious! Full of flavor! We enjoyed it. Thanks Pati!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 27

      My pleasure, so happy to hear!

  3. Maria D.

    Sep 20

    Hi Pati! Thank you so much for sharing all your delicious recipes! I haven’t made one my husband and I didn’t like! I made the Orange and Piloncillo Adobo Pork Roast a couple of times and it’s always a hit! I will be making a triple recipe of the Orange and Piloncillo Adobo Pork Roast and your Fast Track Chicken Pibil Sandwich for a party. Can these two recipes be cooked in advance, frozen for a week or two and then reheat the day of the party? If it is, what’s your recommendation for reheating?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 20

      So glad to hear you are making Pibil and Adobo for your party Maria, yes, go ahead a freeze them. The night before your party, thaw them in the fridge and then just heat on the stove top 🙂

  4. Melina G.

    Jul 31

    Saw this recipe on your show and it looks delicious. I want to try it. Just wondering what’s the name of the tool you used to flip the roast?

  5. Dragana

    Jul 01

    Thanks Pati – I am making this today, I halved the meat and will halve the sugar, but I may keep everything else as is as I want to make sure there is enough liquid. Do you think this is a good idea? Also is your oven temp with or without fan?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 03

      Sounds like a good idea to me Dragana, it is just a regular oven temp 🙂

  6. Steve Baker

    Apr 18

    I want to thank you for this particular recipie. It pushed me to get a French oven, so I could attempt this pork dish. It was fabulous. My whole family loved it, even my picky mother -in -law!
    Served it with tortillas, guacamole, and a pineapple habanero salsa. Wonderful flavours.
    I couldn’t find the piloncillo near me and substituted with molasses and dark brown sugar. Results were excellent.
    It was my first time using the guajillo chilies, but it was so delicious it will not be the last.
    I see you are in Bethesda Maryland! We are neighbors, I live in Columbia Maryland about 30 minutes away. Small world.
    Anyway, I love your show and your love of Mexican food. I will be trying your guacamole with pistachios next.
    Thank you again for this recipe as well as the others I will have to try.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 06

      Thanks so much for reaching out neighbor! So glad you made and enjoyed the Pork, yay!

  7. Dawn Wilkinson

    Mar 05

    Fantastic!! 8.5 shoulder bone in, dark brown sugar substitute for piloncillo to 3/4 cup and toasted dried herbs including onion and garlic. Made guajillo pepper sauce day before …in the oven as we speak of this recipe. Sooo looking forward to the outcome! Used what we have and I’m sure it will be marvelous. Can’t wait to try some of your other recipes. Thank You for sharing

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 13

      My pleasure Dawn, let me know how you liked it!

  8. Kim T

    Feb 11

    I have this in the oven now! Can’t wait to have it on sopes with queso

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 08

      Yum Kim, such a great idea!

  9. Butch Gale

    Feb 05

    Made this for friends tonight and was a HUGE hit. Saving the leftover adobo to marinate some pork chops. I have never made one of your recipes that wasn’t a keeper.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 23

      Yay! So happy to hear Butch 🙂

  10. Faith Martinez

    Jan 19

    Hi Patti, Love your site and all your recipes. Was wondering if I could half this recipe and just reduce the cooking time? There is only two of us and 10 lbs will go a long long way! I do want to make the pizza with leftovers however.

    Thank you for all your posts.


    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 29

      Of course Faith, go for it and enjoy it!

  11. Peter

    Dec 19

    Hi Pati thanks for all the inspiring ideas! I’m excited to try this, and think that the adobo sauce should be great for many other dishes – chicken, beef, fish? As the base for a veggie soup? Let me know

    Also just one small question, is 6 ounces piloncillo in weight or volume?

    1. Kathy

      Feb 08

      Is 6 ounces piloncillo in weight or volume?

      1. Anonymous

        Mar 31

        An ounce is a unit of weight

  12. Michael

    Dec 10

    Made this last night for today. WOW the flavors are outstanding. My Mexican carniceria oddly only had boneless pork shoulder but it was as good.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 02

      Glad you liked it Michael, this adobo is just so full of flavor, I love it!

  13. Joe

    Dec 03

    Can I make the sauce a day in advance and marinate the pork overnight? or is this better fresh

    Thank you in advance

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 02

      Of course, go ahead!

  14. Cindi

    Nov 27

    We LOVED the sauce. Wouldn’t use the same cut of meat for next time however because we ended up with to much fat and too little meat. Thank you for the recipe, we will be making it a second time in 2 weeks to share with company. We used our Traeger as our oven.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 01

      Happy you enjoyed the recipe Cindi, un abrazo!

  15. Dave

    Nov 15

    This over rice was a big hit with my family and they enjoyed it again in enchiladas. Thank you very much for sharing the recipe.

    Do you have any recipes or seasoning ideas for venison?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 11

      So glad you liked it Dave! No recipes for venison 🙁

  16. Lloyd Tolbert, Eugene, OR

    Nov 13

    Made this yesterday… WHAT A MESS! LOL 😂 Sooooo delicious… The spice is just right. Thank you The only thing that I did different was line my cooker with banana leaves… wish that I could attach a photo…

    A couple of questions: When you say Oregano, it’s ok to use Mexican Oregano, right? I used fresh squeezed OJ this time. Is it ok to use store bought? Do you think roasting the cumin & coriander in a recipe like this makes any difference, I’m guess, not so much?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 11

      Haha, it is a delicious mess! Yes, it is OK to use Mexican oregano, store bought juice is fine and every time you roast your spices you add another layer of flavor, so go for it!

  17. Neil

    Oct 31

    Pati, my wife and I were of great interest to our doggies as we watched you make this, as we were drooling so much. The problem is — as with many recipes these days — my Latina wife is unusual in that she is allergic to any kind of chilis that register more than a couple of hundred on the Scoville scale. Do you have any general guidelines as to what we might use an a substitute when your recipes call for chilis?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 02

      I will say always use guajillos or anchos because they are more mild than spicy, but if it is still to much for you, either leave the chiles out or substitute with bell peppers 🙂

  18. Shannon

    Oct 29

    Can’t wait to try this! It’s in the oven for the last 2 hour turn. Yummmmm.
    Going to make mini tacos with the pulled pork and then try it tomorrow with some rice! I’ve never cooked with piloncillo and I’m really looking forward to how it changes the tast.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 02

      Mmmm, great ideas Shannon, let me know how it turned out 😉

      1. Shannon Dominguez

        Nov 13

        The recipe came out fantastic! The pork was so tender and fell off the bone easily. We are looking to make this again with the other half of the pork picnic shoulder. Now were looking forward to making your blacken chicken with super greens.

        1. Pati Jinich

          Dec 11

          So happy you liked it Shannon! The super greens salad is out of this world, hope you will like it as well!

  19. Delia

    Oct 24

    Thank you Paty for sharing this delicious recipe. I definitely going to do it. It looks sooo delicious. !!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 26

      Let me know how you like it Delia!

  20. Gina

    Oct 23

    Turned out delicious.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 28

      Glad you liked it!

  21. Kim

    Oct 23

    Hi ! and Hola! I was wondering if I could use a pork butt/ shoulder in this recipe ?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 28

      For sure, go ahead and enjoy!

  22. Tita

    Oct 20

    Hi I can’t wait to cook this abodo pork roast for the holidays .

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 28

      Enjoy it Tita!

  23. Esdeina Shipley

    Oct 20

    Love it, something different to try for the holidays instead of the tegular honey ham. Gracias!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 28

      That is exactly what I was thinking, yay! Enjoy it 🙂

  24. Anonymous

    Oct 19

    The recipe it’s for 110 lb of meat?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 28

      OMG no, haha, it is for one – 10 pound pork shoulder 🙂

  25. DJ

    Oct 05

    Hi Pati. I’m going to make this soon (and next I’m going to make the Caramelized Pasilla Brisket. And then pozole. It’s going to be a good Fall).

    My question is, when you slice the pork thinly, do you slice thinly WITH the grain, or thinly ACROSS the grain. I’m thinking if you slice thinly across the grain, it may fall apart. Please advise. Thanks for all your great recipes.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 24

      With this one what you want is that it falls apart! That way is more like pulled pork on top of pizza, or for tacos!

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