Growing through life creatively…

Next best thing to being in the islands…

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I am a 5th generation native Californian.  I am not at all Hawaiian, but have been lucky enough to spend more time in the state of Hawaii than any other state outside my home.  One of our favorite activities to do while we are there is eat.  There are so many wonderful flavors to be found (and eaten) in the islands.
At some point, my husband and I decided to have our own lu’au party to share our Hawaiian love with friends.  First thing I had to figure out how to cook was the centerpiece of any lu’au feast – the Kalua Pork.  I knew right away that it would not be “authentic” as I had no plans to get crazy and cook an entire pig in the ground.
Kauai '06-'07
Pam’s Kalua Pork
3 lbs. pork butt
1.5 Tbsp. Hawaiian salt
2 tsp. liquid smoke
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Rub salt and smoke over meat.  Place meat on foil.  Wrap in foil and place in roasting pan.  I usually add a little water to the pan for extra moisture.  Let it cook 4-5 hrs until meat falls apart.  I shred it using 2 forks.

It cooks very nicely in the oven.  Because I am often cooking in larger quantities, I throw it in my roaster oven (kind of like a slow cooker on steroids) and let it go.  I have also given up on measuring amounts of each ingredient.  A more authentic recipe would wrap the pig in banana or ti leaves.  When I started out, I did wrap a few pounds of spinach around the meat.  I thought I needed to do that for moisture, but it seems fine without it (as long as you tightly wrap in foil).

Since the first time I made this, I have tweaked the recipe a bit and cooked literally hundreds of pounds of pork.  We love to entertain and think nothing of inviting 50 friends and family for a meal.  Kalua Pork is great to serve at parties because it serves a lot and no one is standing over a hot grill all day, battling yellow jackets and flies and missing the party.  It is usually a hit!

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