A Hawaiian classic, savory slow-cooked pork with ginger, garlic, and soy flavors. Perfect for any luau or a deceivingly easy weeknight crockpot meal.
Kalua pork, probably the most recognizable Hawaiian dish for anyone who has ever been to a luau in Hawaii. It usually is the star of the show because traditionally it’s a whole pig cooked in an emu, which is a big hole in the ground that someone has built a huge fire in to heat up lava rocks. Once the fire has died down and the lava rocks are incredibly hot they lay a whole pig wrapped in chicken wire (so the pig can stay together in one piece) covered in banana leaves or sometimes wet burlap, and buried with dirt to keep as much of the steam in as possible while it cooks for about 12 hours. The unearthing is always a big show before dinner starts and it’s pretty fun to watch. It’s always my favorite part of the luau, that and the hula dancers.
To start making your own kalua pork at home you have to start by digging a huge hole in your yard and fill it with rocks and fire. No? Not something you want to do? No worries, you can still make kalua pork at home and you can even use a crock pot! It’s surprisingly easy to mimic the authentic taste of an emu cooked pig.
- 4lb Pork Shoulder
- 3 tablespoons Hawaiian Sea Salt
- 1 tablespoon Black Pepper
- 1 tablespoon Granulated Garlic
- 1 tablespoon Granulated Onion
- 2 tablespoons Liquid Smoke
- 2 Banana Leaves
- 1/2 cup Water
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion, and the liquid smoke.
- Rub the shoulder roast with the Salt mix making sure that every nook and cranny is completely covered.
- Banana leaves can be a pain in the butt, but you can make it easier by either steaming them or if you have a gas stovetop, lay the leaves opened one at a time, and slowly drape over the fire.
- Wrap the roast with the leaves, tying it up with butcher twine.
- Place the roast in a roasting pan with the water and into a preheated oven at 400° for an hour then reduce the heat to 325° and cook for another 3 hours or until fork-tender. Or once the pork is seasoned and wrapped in the banana leaves, drop that tasty parcel into a crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
- When done remove all the banana leaves and shred the pork with two forks.
Serve with rice, sautéd sesame cabbage, and Mac Salad.