Adobo Pork Butt

Pierna de Cerdo Adobada

Adobo Pork Butt

Pierna de Cerdo Adobada

Recipe Yield

8 servings

Cooking time

4 hours 10 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.34 from 6 votes


For the marinade:

  • 1/2 pound ripe Roma tomatoes
  • 1 white onion quartered
  • 6 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 2 guajillo chiles stemmed and seeded
  • 2 ancho chiles stemmed and seeded
  • 1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons grated piloncillo or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the meat:

  • 1 4- to 5- pound pork butt or shoulder bone in
  • 3 bay leaves

To Prepare

To make the marinade:

  • Put the tomatoes, onion and garlic on a baking sheet lined with foil. Place under the broiler for about 10 minutes until charred, mushy, and soft, flipping once halfway through. Remove from the oven and once cool enough to handle, peel the garlic cloves. (Alternatively, you can char and toast on a preheated comal or skillet set over medium-low heat.)
  • Place tomatoes, peeled garlic and onion in the jar of a blender.
  • Toast the guajillo and ancho chiles on a heated comal or skillet for about a minute, flipping a few times, until lightly browned and fragrant. Place the chiles in a medium saucepan, cover with water, and simmer about 10 minutes until soft and rehydrated.
  • Transfer the rehydrated chiles, along with 1 cup of their cooking liquid, to the blender with the other ingredients. Add in the orange juice, vinegar, piloncillo, marjoram, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper and puree until completely smooth. Let cool.

To roast the meat:

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F with the rack set in the bottom third.
  • With a small paring knife, pierce the pork butt all over so it will absorb the marinade. Place it in a large oven-proof casserole or baking dish and cover with the marinade* and add the bay leaves. Cover with a tight fitting lid or aluminum foil.
  • Place in the oven and roast for 3 hours or until meat is completely tender. Remove from the oven and raise the temperature to 375°Carefully remove the lid or foil, baste the sauce all over the meat and return to the oven, continue cooking another 20 to 30 minutes until browned on top.
  • Transfer the meat to a chopping board and let rest. Meanwhile cook the sauce in the casserole over medium-high heat or until thickened to a gravy consistency, about 15 to 20 minutes. Slice the meat, coarsely chop if desired, and place on a platter and dress with the sauce.
  • *Note: You can marinate the meat for up to 48 hours or roast right away.


40comments inPierna de Cerdo Adobada

  1. John B

    Oct 05

    Made this for the family for Sunday dinner, phenomenal! The flavors are complex, but perfect together. A bit of work but not too difficult, definitely worth the work though. Just wish my son made more tortillas for this. LoL

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 07

      Awesome John, so glad you enjoyed this recipe 😉

  2. Sandy

    Sep 27

    Watched your show this morning. My husband is busy cooking this now! Thank you for being so inspiring!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 04

      Thanks to you and your husband for tuning in Sandy! Hope the Pierna was a success 😉

  3. Mark from N.J?

    Sep 05

    I just finished making the marinade and it tastes fantastic. Will marinate overnight and cook tomorrow. Thank you for sharing these wonderful recipes. My wife and I watch your show every Sunday. When we saw you make this we knew we would have to try this recipe.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 06

      Thanks so much Mark, I hope you loved the Pierna as much as I do. Stay tuned because the new season premieres the first weekend of October from Sonora!

  4. Laura

    Aug 02

    The flavor is out of this world and it is easy to make. Thank you Pati for these wonderful recipes. I love authentic Mexican cuisine and they way you show us the recipes with such positive energy! You make everything seem doable! It is just difficult to get some of the ingredients here in Australia, but hopefully that will change over time.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 05

      Thanks so much Laura, so glad you liked this recipe! Greetings all the way to Australia 🙂

  5. Robert Van Winkle

    May 31

    Wow, that’s all that I can say is wow. It’s just amazing the depth and complexity of the flavors. Pati thank you so much sharing your culture and diversity of flavors from Mexico. I am a huge fan of your show and the education on the diversity of the Mexican culture which makes me want to spend more time seeing and tasting first hand once the pandemic has curtailed. Love how you share your family and make them a part of your journey and the passion you share so openly.

    Thank you so much for all you are doing

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 01

      Thanks for the kind words Robert, and thanks to you for tuning in 😉 New season premiering this fall from Sonora!

  6. Jason Bruton

    May 12

    I am making it for the second time, my boys love it so much! What’s amazing to me is how much flavor you get from such a relatively simple recipe. If you soak the peppers at the same time you’re broiling the vegetables you can do all the prep in about 15 minutes. Pour over the meat, put it in the oven and you’re done. Brilliant!

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 13

      Hey Jason, you are absolutely right, this Pierna is easy and quick to prepare but still super flavorful, glad you and the boys like it!

  7. JoAnn Monjeau

    May 08

    Going to make this tomorrow and bring some over for my daughter. We love all your recipes. Also excited to try belly button soup.

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 11

      Thanks so much JoAnn, hope she likes it!

  8. Jamie Sandberg

    Apr 18

    I made this last night and wow! The marinade just by itself is amazing! Definately a keeper! Love your recipes and your shows! Thank you

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 19

      Thanks for tuning in Jamie! New Season to come out in the fall, do not miss it 😉

  9. Rosalina

    Mar 28

    Made this recipe today. Meat is juicy and tender. The sauce is delicious. I see some delicious burritos in my future. Thank you Pati. A hit as always.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 02

      Thanks Rosalina, glad you tried this recipe and you liked it 😉

  10. Kali

    Mar 22

    Has anyone make this recipe in an Instant Pot/pressure cooker?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 27

      I have not, but I am sure it can be done. Enjoy!

  11. Susan French

    Feb 05

    I will be making this next week, what do people serve with this meat. I don’t want to use tortillas, I would like something healthier

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 05

      Hi Susan! Instead of coarse chopping the meat to serve, why don’t you just slice it nicely and serve it with the sauce on top and your favorite salad? Sounds like a full meal to me.

  12. Dave

    Jan 04

    I made this for New Year’s Eve and it everyone raved about it. I was a bit confused about the title, because pierna is leg, but the recipe calls for shoulder (butt). I actually used a leg of pork and it came out great! Leftovers make great tacos too!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 06

      What a great way to start the New Year, Dave. Have a wonderful 2020.


    Jan 01

    Super Yummy! Great reviews from guests!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 02


  14. Amy

    Nov 10

    I made this today and we loved it! I served the pork with sweet potatoes and spinach. Fantastic. My mistake was to remove all the seeds from the chilies before toasting them. I was concerned it would be too spicy for us, but next time I will not be so cautious. I plan to use the leftovers in several ways. One night with polenta and another with tortillas. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 12

      All that sounds so great! Enjoy the leftovers, Amy.

  15. GMS3rd

    Nov 06

    Yum! I used a pork sirloin tip roast from C***** with great results. It’s really tasty the day after. Reminds me of good Carolina bbq but better because of the chilis in the sauce. Love the fruit notes the orange juice adds! On a different note … do you have any good oxtail recipes?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 12

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe! No oxtail recipes yet…

      1. Carl

        May 15

        Ms. Pati,
        Mmmm . . . some oxtail recipes sound like a great idea to me! Maybe a tasty soup? I had my wife make an Osso Buco – but with oxtail instead of shank. Delicioso!

        I’m going to try the Pierna de Cerdo Adobada this weekend. I saw you make it on TV the other day, and thought “I can do that! And I know it’ll be delicious!”

        1. Pati Jinich

          May 16

          Yummy! Good luck with this pierna Carl 😉

  16. Mike

    Nov 04

    We tried this last night, sort of. Instead of pork butt, I used double cut pork chops. Cooked in the oven, per your instructions, to about 150. They came out moist, tender and flavorful. They also paired nicely with your chipotle masers.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 05


  17. Glenn

    Oct 27

    Pati – We made Pierna de Cerdo Adobada yesterday. What a marvelous dish. It was easy to follow and I found some of the ingredients at our local Mexican Market. Delicious!!!
    Love your shows.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 28

      That’s awesome! Thanks for sharing, Glenn.

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