Monday, June 1, 2009
I think it must be my Polynesian blood, but one of my favorite foods on earth is kalua pig. Ever been to a luau? Remember the whole pig they stuck in a pit in the ground and cooked for hours? Better yet, remember the succulent, sweet, creamy, mind-blowing meat that came from that pig? Man, I may be biased, but I think there isn't a better use for pork than that, not in any culture. The problem is, how do you make kalua pork without the pit? I found a recipe for crockpot kalua pig over at On My Plate that I tried out. Normally, crockpotting isn't my favorite thing, because it tends to turn out tough or chewy meat. Not with this recipe. I think the key might be the cut of meat. She recommends using pork butt or shoulder, although I used a back cut with the rind still intact on one side. The common factor is that these are all big fatty hunks of pork. The fat must protect the integrity of the meat while imparting flavor and creaminess to the finished product. The result? Amazing. I served it with sticky rice and Hawaiian sauce.
5ish pounds pork butt or shoulder
2 cups apple cider
1 Tbs liquid smoke
sea salt or kosher salt(any large grain salt)(except rock salt :))
The night before, rub pork with salt(about 1/4-1/2 cup)& liquid smoke and place in crockpot. Add cider. Turn crockpot on low and leave to cook for 10-12 hours, flipping pork halfway through. Take meat out and shred with fork.
1 can pineapple chunks
1 Tbs corn starch
2 Tbs sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
Combine corn starch and sugar in sauce pan. Whisk in juice from pineapple, plus enough water to make 1 cup. Add soy sauce. Cook and stir until boiling; boil 1 minute. Add in pineapple chunks. Done.