I feel like we're having tropical food week! Three days ago I posted Shrimp Scampi, earlier today I posted Fruit Salsa w/ Cinnamon Tortilla chips, and now we've got Kalua pork.
Kalua pork is a pretty big deal in Hawaii. It's done at every luau, where traditionally they take the whole pig, gut it, fill the body cavity with salt, ginger, and garlic, and banana leaves. Then hot coals are stuck inside and it's buried in the ground, then covered with more hot coals, banana leaves and then palm fronds. It's layered well to retain the heat in the ground. After hours of roasting, they raise the pig up and carve and shred.
Seeing it costs a small fortune to get a pig of my own, and seeing I can't actually EAT that much pig, I take the easy road.
Typically you're supposed to use pork shoulder roast. I'm using pork loin. About 2 lbs. You can use either cut of meat. This is what I had here at the house.
Two days ago I put the pork in a brine to marinate. I roughly cut up some garlic and gingerroot. Put in a large ziploc with the pork roast.
If you're not familiar with this fancy little product, it's called liquid smoke. Really. It smells like smoke.
A little side warning. Do NOT inhale this stuff and do NOT use too much. I'm warning you. It is potent!
I put about 1/2 tsp of liquid smoke in the ziploc as well.
Pour in 1/4 cup salt.
Fill the ziploc with some water. Just enough to cover the pork. Seal well then put in a bowl or baking pan to keep the ziploc from lying flat. The juices might seep out all over your fridge.
Put this in the fridge for at least one day.
When you're ready to bake, pour out most of the liquid and put the roast with the garlic and ginger in a small roasting pan. Cover with foil and put in a 325* oven for 3-4 hours.
When it's done, the meat will pull apart very easily.
You can see how nice this looks. We're almost there! This part is the most tedious but shouldn't take long at all. My husband was a sweetie and pulled the pork for me! YAY!
Remove all of the ginger and garlic pieces before shredding. Keep whatever liquid is in the pan. This will keep the pork moist.
Voila. Shredded kalua pork! In Hawaii, they serve this with poi, or as I like to call Hawaiian gravy. They put poi on EVERYTHING. Not sure what poi is? It's mashed taro root. Taro is like a purple potato. I personally do not like it at all. Tonight I served the pork with rice and peas. On the islands, since this is typically luau fare, they have salad, macaroni salad, lomi lomi salmon, and rolls to go with this.
Now you can bring a bit of the islands home to you and your family! Aloha!