Friday, September 17, 2010

Kalua Pig

I was invited to a birthday party for two lovely friends, and one of them wanted it to be a Hawaiian luau. Since a lot of us were bringing dishes, I stuck with the theme and recalled the kalua pig I had when I was at a real luau on Maui. Of course, I didn’t use a whole pig, nor dig a hole in the ground to build an imu to cook the pig. I used the oven, pork shoulder, and a few other things. I’ve wanted to recreate this ever since I ate it years ago, but I’m not sure what took me so long. I assumed it would be complicated. There are different ways to make it, and here’s how I did it. Read on to see how easy it is:

- 5# pork shoulder (or pork butt… same thing)

- 4 washed bananas (Normally 1 banana leaf would be used, bit it was late, and the international market was closed, so I substituted with the bananas. It looked funny, but it worked.)

- 2 tablespoons Hawaiian salt (I used red salt. If you can't find this, sea salt works, too.)

- 2 tablespoons liquid smoke

- Tin foil

- Something to roast the meat in

- 1 large bowl

- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Slash the pork all over... aaaaaallll over. Do it with a fork or a knife. Only ¼” deep.
- Put the pork in the big bowl, and rub salt and liquid smoke all over, trying to get some in the slits you just made.
- With the fat/skin side up, put the unpeeled bananas on top.
- Lay a sheet of tin foil down, large enough to wrap the pork and bananas tightly.
- Place the pork and bananas on the foil.
- Wrap everything tightly in foil. Make it as tight as you can without ripping it.
- Put the pork in a roasting dish.
- Put an inch of water in the dish.
- Bake at 1 hour/pound.
- Take it out, open foil, discard bananas, and place the pork in a large dish or bowl. (Don't discard the foil yet, as you'll need the "juice.)
- Shred the pork.
- Take the skin/fat, and dice it into small cubes.
- Spoon the "juice" from inside the foil (not the water that is on the outside) onto the shredded pork to desired taste.
- Mix the pork & fat, and serve.

Normally, all procedures are the same, but the pork should be wrapped in the ti leaves with no bananas, tied with kitchen twine, and then all wrapped in the banana leaf.

That's it! See? Simple!
Apologies I don't have a better pic of the finished product in all its shredded glory; it was lost somehow.


Anonymous said...

The bananas are weird. I don't understand substituting the leaf with the fruit.

Was that in the recipe guide? Or an impromptu substitution?

Athos said...

I thought it weird, too. I started shopping late, and of course, the ethnic stores were alreday closed so I couldn't find ti leaves or the banana leaf. I consulted the almighty Internets, and there were 3 websites that stated to place bananas on top. 1 went further and suggested green bananas. Quite honestly, I didn't taste anything banana-ey, so I thought about doing it next time without the bananas.

Or just use the banana and ti leaves if I don't wait to shop so late!

porthos said...

interesting guys.
fruit and leaf are obviously not substitutes.
and banana itself can't retain much heat retention so it makes absolutely no sense for this meat eater either.

porthos said...

but there are a ton of cooking irregularities out there that this one really isn't THAT weird...
ok, maybe just a little.

good eats guys.. i want me some roast pork now.

Paloma Negra said...

Next time just use honey for the sweetness....and then throw in some fresh jalapeños for spice and throw it all in the crockpot to save on clean-up and time....oooh yeah...that's what i'm talking about....the "after" photos look good; pork looked nice and juicy.

Athos said...

Hola, Paloma Negra -
Pork was actually pretty moist! when you got deep into the center, then it was a tad dry - but it was such a small portion. The "au jus" helped that in a sec. Thank you!