So… yeah… Kalua Pig. Do I really need to say much more than it’s FREAKING AMAZING!?! Imma just hop right into the recipe here, guys. This is an easy one, and you don’t even need to build an imu in your backyard to roast that pig.
Kalua Pig (in an oven)
1 5-7 pound pork butt (yes, buy that big one)
3 TBSP Hawaiian alaea sea salt or coarse sea salt
3 frozen banana leaves, defrosted and rinsed
3 cups water
3/4 to 1 tsp liquid smoke
Preheat your oven to 350 deg F. Pull out a roasting pan and line it with one of the banana leaves. Rinse your pork butt and place it on top of the banana leaf you just put in the roasting pan. Rub in that salt all over that pork butt and then cover it in the remaining banana leaves. Cover the whole pan in foil and secure. Pop that bad boy in the oven for about 4 or 5 hours to get it nice and tender. DON’T OPEN THE FOIL OR CHECK THE MEAT UNTIL YOU’RE READY TO PULL IT OUT. You’re basically steaming that porky goodness in its own juices and getting that meat super tender.
Once the meat is cooked, remove it from the banana leaf encasement and put it in a boil without the juices, which might be too salty. Shred that bad boy up with some giant forks. Meanwhile, in a small pot, bring the water and salt to a boil. Remove it from the heat, add the liquid smoke and pour over the meat. Let it sit for at least ten minutes and then serve it warm.
Complete your plate with a bit of rice, some mac salad or coleslaw, and some spam musubi if you’re feeling frisky. I’d throw some roasted veggies on there for good measure too. Nom nom nom!
NOTE: If you’d like to adapt this recipe for the crock pot, put your pork butt in your big ass crock pot lined with banana leaves. Cook on low for 8 hours. I’ve seen recipes that say to let it go for 16-20 hours though, but I think that might be a little excessive. Besides, who wants to wait almost a whole day for pork?! Then do the same shredding trick (not in the crock pot juices!) and soak in your smoky salt water.