Puerto Rican Pig Rub (Lechon Asado)

Lechon asado is a crispy, tender whole roasted pig and a cherished Puerto Rican holiday tradition. For very special occasions at Rosso & Flynn, we’ll roast a whole heritage Red Wattle pig and the smell of this spicy, garlic-y rub is one of the first things that hits us. But you do not need a holiday -- or even a whole pig -- to make this rub and add it to anything and everything! Try it on chicken or other pork cuts. Make the achiote oil and keep it around the kitchen.

Adjust the seasonings as you like, but make sure you have enough to rub all over your cuts. Want more heat? Add more Achiote powder.

Seasoning for a Whole Pig (70-100lbs)

  • 2 cups crushed garlic, as well as a few more for stuffing
  • 1 cup dried oregano
  • 1 cup black pepper
  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 7 cups olive oil
  • ½ cup of Achiote powder

Seasoning for a Pork Shoulder (4-5 lbs) or Whole Chicken (3 lbs)

  • 3 crushed garlic cloves, as well as a few more for stuffing
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • A few spoonfuls of Achiote powder (We use the Rogelio Buene Authentico brand)


Combine the garlic, oregano, pepper and salt in a large bowl. Mix the olive oil and Achiote powder together, taking care to break up the achiote in the oil (it will separate). Finally, combine the spice blend with the oil. A blender works great for this task.

Cut a few quarter-sized holes into the skin of your meat. Push in reserved garlic cloves into the skin. Pour on the spice-oil rub and generously massage into the meat. Let marinate for at least 12 hours.Roast, grill or smoke as you like!


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