Pierna de Cerdo Adobada

Adobo Pork Butt

Pierna de Cerdo Adobada
8 servings
Pati Jinich
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: ancho chiles, apple cider vinegar, guajillo chiles, orange juice, pati’s mexican table, piloncillo, pork
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Adobo Pork Butt recipe from Pati’s Mexican Table Season 8, Episode 3 “South by South of the Border with Vivian Howard”


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.

36 comments on “Pierna de Cerdo Adobada

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  1. 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

  2. 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. 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!

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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. 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!

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. 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. 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!”

  13. 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.

  14. 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.