Ecuadorian hornado or slow roasted pork – quick version

Ecuadorian hornado recipe

I want to share a recipe for an easier version of hornado de chancho or slow roasted pork, that can be made for a smaller dinner party or small family celebration – or just because you’re craving it. This easy version of hornado can made with a smaller cut of pork and requires less marinating/less roasting time. I used a pork shoulder that was a still a decent size at, but you can also make it with a pork loin, as long as you’re willing to give up the crispy pork skin.

Receta en Español

Ecuadorian hornado or slow roasted pork
Rate this recipe
6 ratings

Cook Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: For 10-15 people, or 8-10 people plus some leftovers

Ecuadorian hornado or slow roasted pork

Hornado de chancho is a slow roasted pork dish cooked in a marinade of beer or chicha, garlic, cumin and achiote or annatto.


  • 6-10 pound pork shoulder (for about 10-15 people)
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • Aliño or marinade for pork (should result in 6-7 tbsp.)
  • 20-30 garlic cloves, crushed or whole if you have a mini-food processor
  • 2 tablespoons of ground cumin
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of salt
  • ½ tablespoon of ground pepper
  • 3 cups of beer for marinating and 1-2 cups of beer for baking (or chicha if you can find it)
  • 6 ounces of butter (1 ½ sticks) or lard
  • 2 tablespoons of ground achiote or annatto seed
  • Optional: 8-10 medium sized potatoes, whole or cut in half
  • Suggested side dishes:
  • Mix and match according to your preference: Mote or hominy, llapingachos and/or potatoes roasted with hornado, Ecuadorian style rice, fried ripe plantains, tomato and onion curtido, agrio sauce, and aji criollo


  1. Place the pork shoulder in a large bowl for marinating (make sure it will fit in the fridge).
  2. Pour the lime juice over the pork.
  3. Prepare the marinade by mixing the garlic, ground cumin, salt and pepper in a mini-food processor. You can also crush the garlic with a press and mix with the cumin, salt & pepper. If you want the extra rich red color, you can also add a tablespoon of achiote or annato powder to the mix.
  4. Make several deep incisions on both sides of pork shoulder and begin stuffing the incisions with the garlic cumin marinade, also rub it all over the meat. Mix the remaining garlic cumin mix with the beer, and pour it over the pork shoulder and let it rest overnight the fridge. If you have time you can let it rest 24 hours, if not overnight is fine.
  5. Turn the pork shoulder over every 8-12 hours.
  6. Pre-heat oven to 400F (200C) and place the pork shoulder or pork loin (with the marinade sauce) in a baking pan, with the skin side up, make sure it is deep enough to allow room for the marinade and also a little extra room to add the potatoes later on.
  7. In a small saucepan, melt a stick of butter on low heat, stir in 1 tablespoon of the ground achiote and mix well.
  8. Drizzle and brush the melted achiote butter mix all over the dry pork skin. Keep any remaining butter mix to use to baste the pork skin during baking.
  9. Bake the pork at 400F for about ~30 minutes.
  10. Lower the oven temperature to 350F and bake for 1 ½ hours. To keep the pork from drying out you will need to baste or bathe the meat using a ladle with the pan sauces about every 20-30 minutes. You can use the achiote butter to baste the skin.
  11. Lower the oven temperature to 325F.
  12. The pan sauces might be reduced at this point, so melt the remaining ½ butter stick on low heat, mix in 2 cups of beer plus the remaining 1 tablespoon of ground achiote, and let it get hot but not boil. Use the mix as needed to keep the pork moist.
  13. Continue baking and bathing for another 1 ½ hour. At this point you can add the whole or cut in half potatoes. Let the potatoes and pork bake for about another hour.
  14. Total roasting time should be around 4 ½ hours for an 8-10 pound pork shoulder, or about 25-30 minutes per pound, internal temperature should be 160.
  15. Before removing the pork from the oven, sprinkle cold water on the skin for it to pop –this might not work with a smaller piece of pork. If this doesn’t work, then you can turn the broiler on for a few minutes to help the skin get crispy. Or alternatively, after carving the meat, remove the skin, and scrape off the fat from underneath. Then cut the skin into medium size pieces and put them under the broiler for about 3-5 minutes or until they get crispy and start to pop (when they pop they squirt oil so just a warning).
  16. Serve the pork with mote or hominy (plain or sautéed with the hornado gravy), the potatoes that were baked with the pork or llapingachos potato patties, tomato and onion curtido salsa, agrio sauce, avocado slices and aji criollo.

Roasted pork recipe
Ecuadorian hornado de chancho usually means a whole roasted pig, which are commonly found in the mercados or markets in the Andean highland cities. Most people go out to a restaurant to eat hornado, but will make it at home for holidays or special events. It’s a great dish for Christmas/New Year’s or even for Thanksgiving if you want to incorporate Latin flavors to the meal. This pork dish is traditionally made by marinating the pork in chicha, a fermented corn drink, for several days and then baking the pork in a wood burning clay oven. I’m still dreaming of the day that I will have my own outdoor clay oven so that I can cook a whole roasted pig. In the meantime, I make hornado de pierna de chancho or roasted pork leg at least once a year – usually for New Year’s Day lunch. I’ve already shared the recipe for the roasted pork leg, however the recipe is for a large piece of meat (20+ pounds), and the preparation involves several days of marinating, so for a special occasion or party with a lot of people I recommend trying the whole leg.

Ecuadorian roasted pork
The crispy pork skin, called cascaritas or cueritos in Ecuador, are also a delicious part of this dish. You will get more if you make the roasted pork leg; however the pork shoulder still has some skin on it. In Ecuador, one of the things they do to get the skin crispy is to sprinkle it with cold water during the last minutes of roasting it. Some people also use blow torches to torch the skin until blackened, and then use a sharp knife to scrape off the blackened part to reveal a yummy crispy skin. You can either turn on the broiler during the last minutes to get the skin crispy, and the scrape the blackened/almost burnt parts of with a sharp knife. Another way to get the skin extra crispy is to cut the skin off, and removed the layer of fat, then place the skin only under the broiler (or use a blow torch) until crispy.

Ecuadorian hornado can be served with a variety of side dishes; some of the most popular side dishes are llapingachos or potato patties, mote or hominy corn, fried ripe plantains, avocado slices, a tomato and onion salsa called curtido, and a tangy vinaigrette sauce called agrio. For additional spice serve some aji criollo or Ecuadorian spicy salsa on the side. Boiled yuca or cassava and Ecuadorian style rice are also good side dishes. The hominy can be served plain or you can also use some of the juices from the hornado to sauté it and make mote refrito en salsa de hornado. When I make hornado at home I like to add whole potatoes during the last hour of roasting, the potatoes cooked in the hornado sauce and make the best baked potatoes ever. Even if you are using a small roasting pan, you can still make them by removing the pork meat after it is done and roasting the potatoes while the roasted pork rests.

Hornado recipe

Step by step preparation photos for the quick version of Ecuadorian roasted pork hornado








Roasted pork with agrio sauce Ecuadorian Hornado de chancho recipe

This post was last modified: August 19th, 2016 by Layla Pujol


  1. Hi

    My name is Lisa, my husband is from Cuenca. We have visited family in NYC who have made hornado. This is my husbands favorite food. I came across your website a few months ago. Thank you so much for helping me bring the taste of home to him.

  2. Robert Van Doren says:

    Hello Layla, I just returned from a supermarket in Salinas, Ecuador. I saw these chanchos in the pork section of fresh meats. Maybe 5-6 pounds each. I looked up chancho in my Spanish dictionary when I got home. It meant pig! Okay, now how do I make it? That brought me to your website, which I have bookmarked. You are a great help to me. Thank you! Home made Ecuadorian food is wonderful. In this beach town there are many restaurants with mediocre food, Also small grills on the street with delicious food. You need to now where they are. Next week I am going to buy a chancho and use your recipe. I will buy your book young lady. Good luck! Bob in Chipipe.

  3. Hi,

    Did you use shoulder with bone in?
    Or without bone?



  4. Wow, this recipe is awesome!!! I’ve tried making pork roast in past but it always seems a bit dry. I followed this recipe to a T and the pork came out so moist and flavorful. I definitely used the 30 cloves of garlic. Thank you for sharing!!!!

  5. Wow…I haven’t had Hornado in a long time. It’s soooo good! I’m gonna ask my mom to make it. =) I just found your blog, through Pinterest, and I love it! I’m a new follower! Can’t wait to check out the rest of your Ecuadorian recipes!! =)

  6. What a beautiful dish…heaven!

  7. Hello Laylita,

    I am writing from Canada. I was wondering when you place the pork in the oven do you place in the middle rack or lower rack?

    Thank You,

  8. Laylita,
    I live in Costa Rica where cuts of meat are quite different from what we’re used to in the States. I’m wondering how to ask in Spanish for a pork shoulder with such thick skin and fat in Spanish. Usually I see only “posta de cerdo” (round?) or “lomo” (loin) or “lomito” (tenderloin) available.

    • Hi Gail – Some of the names that are used for pork shoulder in Spanish are espaldilla, paletilla y cabeza de lomo, but these vary by country. There doesn’t seem to be a literal translation for pork shoulder, and it’s more of a combination of the ones mentioned. The best bet might be to find a local butcher and explain that you want a particular piece (with the skin on). Buena suerte!

  9. I just made this over the weekend and, oh my, it was so good it was unbelievable. Thanks Laylita!

  10. Hi Laylita,
    I love it! I made the pork leg last year it was a lot of time but worth it.
    I would like to try your quick version this coming Christmas.
    Thank you for your awesome recipes .

  11. Camila Guerrero says:

    My husband and I went to Ecuador last month, and had the most delicious hornado in Sangolquí.
    This Wednesday I told my husband that I was craving some, and one day later, here is the recipe!
    Thank you, Laylita!!! You’re awesome :)

  12. This is great! I’m planning to make this on thanksgiving. Do you recommend a light or dark beer? Hops or no hops? Better yet, what brand beer did you use? Can this also be cooked in a slow cooker? Thx!

  13. Hi Laylita,

    Love your recipes!

    I will try this one this weekend, but wanted to ask you something. Do you really use 30 cloves of garlic in this recipe?



    • I did use 30 cloves for the pork shoulder that was close to 10 lbs, and used lesss (~20) when I made it with a 6 lb piece of meat. I’ll adjust it in the recipe to reflect that it can be range. Once you crush it/blend it there isn’t a lot of garlic. Also, of course, if you’re not a fan of garlic you can always use less (I am a fan of garlic).

Leave a Reply