While in Hawaii a few months ago, we fell in love with a local dish called Kalua Pork.
Kalua (do not confuse with Kahlua, the liqueur) is a traditional Hawaiian cooking method in which pig is rubbed with salt, wrapped in ti leaves and cooked in an underground pit or oven. Deeply flavored, smoked, perfectly and simply seasoned, it is the backbone of the luau. While we didn’t partake of a luau while there, we had several delicious meals that included Kalua Pork, and I was inspired to try it at home. I asked the waitress how to make it, and I took her simple description and ran with it.
I don’t have an underground oven in my backyard (do you? If so, invite me over!), but I figured my trusty slow cooker could stand in. While in Kauai, I bought some of the Alaea Red Hawaiian Sea Salt that is used in the dish. It is red salt colored by Hawaii’s mineral-rich, volcanic red clay, and is used as a rub for meat, chicken or fish to give it an authentic flavor of Hawaii. If you don’t have it, you can find it online, or just substitute kosher salt (don’t tell anyone) and call it a day.
Let’s make Kalua pig, which you will eat for several meals. Later I’ll give you another way to use it, in something called a “local bowl.” Honestly, I ate this 3 times in Hawaii; that’s how good it was!
Recipe: Slow Cooker Hawaiian Kalua Pork
Summary: Deeply porky, slightly smoky, perfectly and simply seasoned with traditional Hawaiian sea salt, Kalua Pork is a wonderful traditional Hawaiian meal. The slow cooker stands in for the underground oven.
- 2.5-pound pork shoulder butt roast, trimmed of large pieces of fat
- 1 ½ teaspoons Alaea Red Hawaiian Sea Salt
- 10 squirts hickory smoke flavoring
- Mist the inside of the crock with nonstick spray. Place all ingredients in the crock, put the lid on and cook on LOW for 12 hours (or 8 hours on LOW and 2 more hours on HIGH).
- Remove lid and, using two forks, shred meat in the crock.
- Serve meat with mashed potatoes, rice or another grain, and a green vegetable alongside. Pass barbecue sauce so each person may dribble a bit on their pork if they like.
- Serves 8. Or serves 4, with leftovers for another meal.
Dorothy Reinhold | Shockingly Delicious
See this page for all the wonderful #SundaySupper dishes I have made since I joined this group, and links to all the other delicious dishes made by my fellow cooks.
Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 12 hours Diet tags: High protein, Paleo Number of servings (yield): 8 Culinary tradition: English My rating
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