If you are looking to roast a piece of meat for the holidays this year, take a look at this recipe for Mexican pork adobo. This pork leg (or pierna de puerco as we call it in Spanish) is marinated for a few hours and then slathered in homemade adobo sauce. Then, it is roasted in the oven and ready to serve for dinner!


New Year’s Eve is a big celebration in Mexico accompanied by food, music, and fireworks. Families gather to celebrate the end of the old year (“el año viejo”) and to welcome the new one. The firecrackers start just a few minutes before midnight, the glasses of wine start to get filled up, and right at 12:00 am, everyone cheers and toasts to the new year, hugging each other and wishing the best for everyone in the brand new year.

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Classic Mexican Traditions For New Years

It is also a time when people do some of the many traditions in the Mexican culture, like eating 12 grapes by the time the clock strikes at midnight, which represents 12 wishes, or wearing red underwear to attract love. One thing that many families still do is to clean and paint their houses and get rid of old things to start the new year fresh.

But, there’s one other thing that is also traditional in Mexico which is the “recalentado”, meaning the leftovers that are reheated the next day. Yes, when cooking dinner for New Year’s Eve you keep in mind that the next day, some friends or relatives will stop by to wish you a happy new year and for the recalentado (leftovers), which sometimes tastes better the next day.

Roasted pork leg, tamales, and pork leg in adobo sauce are some of the dishes that many families prefer for New Year’s Eve dinner since the leftovers are really tasty.


Frequently Asked Question About Pork Adobo

Before I share my adobo de puerco recipe, here are a few questions I"ve been asked about homemade pork adobo.

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What kind of meat is used with adobo?

You will typically find adobo sauce being used with pork more than anything. But, with that being said, I have done a pollo asado in adoboin the past and it was delicious!

Can I only use pork leg with adobo sauce?

No, I"ve also used pork ribs in adobo sauce as well.

Do I have to make my own adobo sauce?

I would highly recommend it you can. If not, you can always find some in a can or jar at your local Spanish market.

Roasted Pork Adobo Leg Recipe

Here is the list of ingredients you will need...

Pork leg (skin removed)

For The Marinade:

Garlic clovesWhite onionBay leavesDried oreganoGround black pepperGround cuminFresh orange juiceCider vinegarCoarse saltAluminum foil or baking bag

For The Adobo Sauce:

Ancho peppers (cleaned and deveined)Pasilla peppers (cleaned and deveined)Orange juiceCider vinegarWaterCoarse saltMelted lard

Please note: For exact measurements of the ingredients listed above, scroll down to the recipe card located at the bottom of this post!


How To Make Pierna De Puerco Adobada: Step By Step Tutorial

To make things easier for you, I am going to breakdown the directions to this recipe into sections.

Marinate The Pork Leg

First, pierce the pork leg with the help of a sharp knife.Roast the garlic and onion in a skillet.Transfer the roasted onion and garlic along with bay leaves, oregano, black pepper, cumin, orange juice, vinegar, and salt into a blender.Process until you have a smooth sauce, almost like a paste.Transfer the pork leg to a large baking dish and cover with the marinade, making sure it gets inside the incisions and penetrates the meat.

Make The Adobo Sauce

Roast the peppers on a griddle or comal over medium heat. Remember that this is a quick step to avoid bitter flavors from burnt peppers.Place the peppers in a small saucepan and cover with water.Simmer for about 8 minutes until they are soft. Let them cool for about 10 minutes.Drain the peppers and place them in your blender with the orange juice, vinegar, and water.Puree the mixture until it is smooth and season to taste with the salt.After you have made the sauce, remove the pork leg from the refrigerator and let stand until room temperature.Preheat oven 20 minutes before roasting at 350F.

Add The Adobo To The Pork Leg

Using a pastry brush, spread the melted lard on the meat, making sure to cover it all around.Then, cover the pork leg all over with half of the adobo sauce and place it in the preheated oven.Cover meat with aluminum foil. If using the baking bag, make sure to tie the bag and make the incisions according to the package instructions.

Keep Basting The Pork While It Cooks

After 1 hour, turn the meat and baste it with its own juices. Baste the meat one hour later and turn the pork leg over.Turn the meat at least twice during the cooking process. It is very important to keep the baking dish tightly covered with aluminum foil to have a moistened meat.When the meat can easily be pierced by a fork, then it’s almost done. It will take about 5 hours. I like to have a moist, almost falling-apart meat.

Roast The Pork Adobo For The Last 10 Minutes

When you see that the meat is done, uncover and turn the oven temperature up to 450F. Roast for about 8-10 minutes to have browned meat. Make sure you don’t burn it. It will take just a few minutes.Remove meat and let stand about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

What To Serve With Roasted Pork Adobo Leg

When I serve pork adobo, I love to slice it up and serve it with some of the remaining adobo sauce that was unused. To do so:

Place the leftover juices from the baking pan and the remaining adobo sauce in a medium-size skillet and simmer for about 8 minutes.Taste, add more salt if needed, and add more of the spices used for the marinade if you wish to.

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Serve a spoonful over the top of the pork and enjoy!


Cooking Tips:

If you see that it’s getting dry, add more of the adobo sauce.The cooking time will depend on the pork leg’s size and weight. The average baking time is 1 hour of baking for every 2 lbs. of meat.

More Authentic Mexican Recipes To Enjoy

If you enjoyed this recipe for pork adobo, take a look at some of these other authentic Mexican recipes:

I hope you make this recipe for Mexican pork leg in adobo sauce! If this recipe was of any help to you, come back to let me know your experience. Please leave us a comment done below and tell us all about it!