Jamaica FEASTS is Queens Library’s FREE training program to provide knowledge, tools, and resources to people who want to start and run their own food businesses in Queens.

Several talented students have graduated from Jamaica FEASTS, and we’re very pleased to share their holiday recipes with you!

Please prepare all recipes at your own discretion; Queens Library is not responsible for accidents, allergic reactions, or illnesses that occur because of preparation.

Pernil (Roast Pork)
from Judy and Keith Cyrus, CaSpanish

“It’s our family tradition to have this roast pork dish for the holidays,” say Judy and Keith, the husband-and-wife duo who created their Bronx-based catering company to serve Spanish food with a Caribbean twist. “It feeds 15 to 20 people, which is always important when you have your whole family coming over for dinner!”


  • 1 pork shoulder, 6 to 8 pounds
  • 3 packets of Sazón seasoning
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • ¾ cup of Recaito (a Puerto Rican green cooking base)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • Olives
  • Salt


  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, mix the Sazón, oregano, Recaito, and garlic.
  • Squeeze the lemons into the bowl and mix with the other ingredients.
  • Place the pork shoulder skin side down in an oven-safe pan. Using a knife, carefully stab holes about an inch deep all over the pork shoulder.
  • Pour half the mixture onto the pork. Massage it all over the pork and into the holes.
  • Take the olives and place as many as you like into the holes.
  • Turn the pork over and massage the remaining mixture into the skin.
  • After the pork is seasoned, leave it skin side up and cover with aluminum foil.
  • Place the pork in the oven. Cook the pork for 1 hour per pound, and remove the aluminum foil during the last 3 hours of cooking.
  • Remove from the oven, carve, and enjoy!

Posts in This Series

  1. Holiday Recipes from Jamaica FEASTS: Nutty Zucchini Raisin Bread
  2. Holiday Recipes from Jamaica FEASTS: Japchae
  3. Holiday Recipes from Jamaica FEASTS: Chef Ayana’s Chicken Wings