Tuesday, July 03, 2007

No-nonsense Kalua Pig

Copyright 2007 by Cooking With The Single Guy

4 to 5 lb. pork shoulder or butt
2 T Hawaiian sea salt or kosher salt
2 T organic or all-natural liquid smoke

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Cut pork into small chunks about equal sizes and place in glass dish. Sprinkle with sea salt (massage your pork to get the salt all over it), cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.

Transfer pork to a 9”X13” baking dish and drizzle with liquid smoke. Cover dish with aluminum foil and place in oven. Cook for at least two hours, probably closer to three hours.

Bring pork out of oven to cool and then get two forks and break apart the pork pieces into shreds. If you’ve cooked it long enough, this part should be easy as the pork easily falls apart. Remove excess bones. Taste the pork and add more sea salt, if needed.

Makes 5 to 6 servings. Serve with lomi lomi salmon and sauteed spinach.

Pair with a glass of Pinor Noir.

TIP: If you’d like to infuse your pork with a tropical taste, you can cover your pork pieces with either banana leaves or ti leaves (Note: ti leaves look like wider bamboo leaves and you can sometimes find it more easily at floral shops; they are not the same as tea leaves) and then cover everything with the aluminum foil. This will give you a more herbal essence (not the hair product) to your pig.

SLOW AND LONG: The ideal kalua pig cooks slowly and for a long time. So you definitely need a free day to roast it in your oven. The good thing is once you put it in, you can go on to do other things. However, cooking the pork for a long time can dry out the meat if there’s not enough fat that liquifies. If you’re concerned about a dry kalua pig, add about a ¼ cup of broth that’ll serve almost like a braising liquid. Just don’t drown your pig, though.

FREEZER READY: This is one of the few recipes where I can’t get away from making tons of servings. But the great thing is kalua pig is easy to freeze and tastes just as good. You can place your kalua pig in plastic containers or Zip lock freezer bags. When you want to eat them again, let it defrost as normal in the refrigerator and then simply steam them for about 10 minutes. Steaming is great to reheat the pork because the moisture from the steam will create a slight salty liquid to make your kalua pig taste fresh. Another thing I do with leftover kalua pig is throw it in a risotto dish with spinach and shitake mushrooms for a Hawaiian-style risotto.


Amanda said...

Reading your blog always makes me hungry! I've tried many of your recipes with great success, and your wine pairings are spot on as well. Thanks Ben! Please keep it up!!

Chef Ben said...

Thanks Amanda, I'm glad you're enjoying the recipes!

Anonymous said...

Try covering the roast with banana peels if you cant find leaves. The oil gets into the pork and gives it a slightly sweet flavor as well as making it even more moist and tender!