Adobo Pork Butt


Adobo Pork Butt

Adobo Pork Butt

Pierna de Cerdo Adobada

Recipe Yield

8 servings

Cooking time

4 hours 10 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.67 from 12 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.


78comments inAdobo Pork Butt

  1. Cherie Storozinski

    Feb 10

    Absolutely delicious!

    My husband wants to bottle the sauce and put it on everything.

    Thank you for opening my eyes and taste buds to delicious Mexican cooking.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 15

      Yay, love this, thanks so much to you and your husband Cherie!

  2. Richard R Rendell

    Jan 06

    I’ve made this twice, it is fantastic! It was my first time using dried chillies and the gravy is a thing of the God’s. I’m going to try it with country style ribs today instead of the roast.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 14

      Yum! Such a great idea Richard, let me know how it comes out!

  3. Joe Spurgeon

    Dec 16

    Hola Pati: Thanks for this Adobado receta. I’ve had it on occasiin in different areas of Nexico. One restaurant in Guadalajara back in the late 60’s served it using a venison shank cooked slowely and basted often, ( very lean). I’M going to Cook it using your receta with Pork Butt in a Dutch oven. Maybe tweeking the chili’s to add a few Chili Arbol to give a little kick. I pickle my own garlic so will cut the viniger down using a little brine from the garlic. Will send you a note when my griends try it.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 20

      Please do Joe, looking forward to hear what your friends and you think of this recipe 🙂

  4. Kim Arnett

    Apr 08

    This sounds delicious but I don’t eat pork. Would this work with chicken or beef? Thanks!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 15

      With both Kim, enjoy!

  5. J R Stewart

    Jan 14

    Absolutely fabulous. I make Kalua pig all the time . Growing up in Hawaii I indulged in so many if the islands wonderful foods.
    This is a keeper. Thank you Pati.
    Aloha Nui Loa

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 30

      My pleasure JR!

  6. Judith Sinift

    Oct 15

    Patty, I can’t wait to try this scrumptious recipe..Thank you
    Your friend Judy

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 24

      Let me know how you like it Judith

  7. Diane Cochran

    May 01

    We loved this recipe! It’s a Sunday here in Texas and I love trying new recipes. I was binge watching your show recently and did this one today. Coincidentally my mother- in-law and her best friend popped in today and they were in for a surprise treat! I paired with corn and flour tortillas for tacos, red skinned mashed potatoes with butter and sweet corn. Perfecto Pati! Thanks for your show and the inspiration. ~Diane in Round Rock

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 15

      Thanks to you for sharing your menu Diane, I am sure your MIL and her friend had a fantastic lunch!

  8. John R.

    Jan 19

    He estudiado español durante muchos años, pero todavía hablo como un gringo. Me encanta todo lo latino. Además, me gusta mucho ver sus programas, especialmente con sus hijos, son guapos e inteligentes. Solo desearía que hablaran más en español cuando les dices algo en español. Tal vez en casa. Es tan lindo cómo a sus hijos les encanta explorar los alimentos y su vocabulario que describe los platos es maravilloso. Nuestros nietos están estudiando español pero no son tan aventurados con las comidas.
    Ahora mismo esta receta está en el horno. Tuve que usar una naranja fresca y tomates enlatados porque estaba tan ansioso por prepararlos que no podía esperar para ir al mercado. Mi esposa y yo le deseamos éxito continuo en sus esfuerzos. Quizás algún día post-COVID dirija algunos tours gastronómicos a México.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 22

      Muchisimas gracias John, que amable! Les mando un abrazo a todos 😉

  9. Shirley A Santillan

    Jan 15

    I watched your show today on ket channel from west Virginia

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 16

      Thanks for tuning in Shirley!

  10. Anonymous

    Jan 15

    Pati i loved your pierna de credo adobada I m going to try and make it im sure we going to like I like your show your cooking is delicious ciao from an Italian in Canada

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 07

      So glad to read this, gracias!

  11. Tony Valenzuela

    Jan 04

    I made this for New Year’s Eve dinner at home and it was to die for delicious. My husband LOVED it. I marinated the pork overnight and increased the recipe by 50%, both marinade and meat. I also extended the baking time in the Dutch oven by 30 minutes because of the extra pork. Anyway, the flavors of the adobada are incredibly rich and complex. This is “comfort food” at its best. My husband said it needs to become a part of our special occasion rotation.

    Pati, I’m a huge fan, of your recipes and your show. I’ve lived in Mexico and the U.S. and come from a restaurant business family. In fact, your family reminds me a little of my own. Thanks for all that you do.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 07

      Thanks to you Tony for this very sweet comment, love that you guys loved this recipe 😉

  12. Rob S.

    Oct 04

    I’ve made this one three times already and love it. I did make some changes that you may feel to be beneficial: I smoked the pork for two hours over a 50/50 blend of cherry and hickory woods first, fat cap up. I also used sour Orange juice instead of sweetened and freshly ground Mexican oregano instead of marjoram. I dry brine the pork for two days prior to cooking. Finally, I used a clay pot (Römertopf) that I soaked for a half hour with lid and into a cold oven, adding fifteen minutes to your cook time. For the last browning period, I rolled the pork over so the fat cap was down. I’m totally an adobada fan now and plan to try with different proteins.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 05

      Thanks so much Rob for sharing your ingredients and techniques, you are way too kind 🙂

  13. DEBBIE H.

    Sep 09

    I watched your show with Vivian. The chef from North Carolina. It inspired me to download this recipe as that state was home for me as well. It was like being right there with the two of you. I have pre ordered your new book on Amazon. Hugs.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 03

      So glad you liked the Episode with Vivian Debbie, she is amazing! And thanks so much for pre ordering, yay 🙂

  14. Maria Gonzalez

    Jul 31

    I want to said thank you to,cook so tasty and easy mexican recipies my fam enjoy bite by bite 🙅‍♀️🥰

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 14

      Thanks to you Maria for your kindness! Un abrazo to you and your family.

  15. Leigh

    Jun 08

    Hi Pati,
    I love your show! However I somehow missed this episode. So I don’t know how to serve this when I make it. I found your recipe on pinterest. And I am so glad I did.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 12

      This is very versatile Leigh, you can serve it with sides of rice and beans, in a taco with guacamole, on top of a tostada or even in a torta! Enjoy 😉

  16. Mike

    May 21

    Made this last night with pork shanks, Chamorro I believe is what they are called. Only change was the addition of a thirid of a can of chipotle I needed to use up. The recipe is a keeper. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 23

      Awesome Mike! You know there is never such a thing as too much chipotle for me 🙂

  17. Michael

    May 09

    Wonderfully succulent recipe! Very much enjoyed your collaboration cooking this with Vivian Howard. The show was a surprising and brilliant combination of two cooks, personalities, and cultures. A great example that food is a universal language that can connect people no matter who they are, where they come from, or the food they know. Loved the connection that you felt toward Vivian (Vivianna!) that you shared at the conclusion of the show—very human and touching.

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 10

      Thanks so much for your kind words Michael, they mean a lot to me 😉

  18. Laura

    May 08

    What episode is this from I would like to watch it again

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 10

      Hey Laura, this is from Season 8 Episode 3 South by South of the Border with Vivian Howard. Enjoy!

  19. MaryF

    Apr 29

    Made the Adobada on the fly this evening. It was wonderful!!

    I made a couple of changes.

    I got home, and realized I forgot the roma tomatoes, and as we live a ways from a store, I couldn’t easily get back and home within a couple of hours. Luckily, I had a can of fire roasted tomatoes on hand, which worked just fine!

    My husband perked up when I said that the chilis needed to be seared for a minute in a skillet; and he came trotting back inside with his flame on a can of propane, and quickly seared up our chilis. He was so happy to use his tool normally used for his wood art and furniture, I didn’t want to dampen his enthusiasm!

    We made the prescribed amount of sauce, but we only had about 2lbs of pork, so we used half tonight, and will put the other half in the freezer for another week. We cook a LOT of pork/carnitas/etc, so we can easily use the sauce very soon.

    This was extremely tasty. We used store-bought fried tortilla shells as a base, which we crisped before use. Added a layer of chopped lettuce mixed with equal parts of cilantro, because we LOVE cilantro! And a layer of refried beans. Sour cream; and some guacamole we had in the freezer which thawed beautifully!

    Definitely something we will add to home rotation, as well as camping freezer when on the road – whether we bring frozen sauce and add pre-cooked pork; or bring the pressure cooker and add pork and sauce together. It was all wonderful, and a happy addition to our rotation.

    thank you!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 30

      Hola Mary, thanks so much for reaching out with so many wonderful ideas on how to eat this Pierna, so glad you guys have fun making it and that you liked it so much, you will be cooking it often. Enjoy! 😉

  20. Bob

    Mar 21

    Really enjoyed this recipe, as always love your food

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 25

      So glad you liked it Bob, yay!

  21. Cali C

    Mar 04

    If I wanted to make this spicy…what would be best to add chile de Arbol, serranos, or? Thank you! I love your show!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 07

      So glad you are tuning in and enjoying the show Cali, thank you! I would add some chipotle in adobe to make this recipe spicy, just try it as you add it, because some times it gets really spicy 😉

  22. 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 😉

  23. 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 😉

  24. 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!

  25. 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 🙂

  26. 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!

  27. 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!

  28. 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!

  29. 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 😉

  30. 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 😉

  31. 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!

  32. 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.

  33. 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


  35. 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.

  36. 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 😉

  37. 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


  38. 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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