Summer time around here (especially July) is when my mom always likes to throw a mostly annual luau. Unfortunately, she hasn't really been able to do that for the past couple of years, just because they had moved about an hour further away from me and well... all of their friends basically too. Either way, this is one of our family favorite recipes for these such luaus! And with it being nearly July, I thought it would be a great time to update this Kalua Pork with a bit of a facelift.
So, what do you do in Hawaii? You go to a luau. What do they serve at a luau? Kalua pork.
Kalua (as not to be confused with Kahlua) is a traditional way of cooking pork in Hawaii. The word kalua actually translates to 'to cook in an underground oven'. While they use something in Hawaii called an imu for this process, I don't readily have one of those at my disposal... so I used the next best thing. My slow cooker!
Usually, we use this pork as Hawaiian Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwiches that we serve with Skinny Hawaiian Slaw or Sriracha Aioli. It's a very versatile pork though, so you can absolutely cook this pork and serve it any old way that you please, such as among Hawaiian Hay Stacks or even over some brown rice as a Hawaiian burrito bowl.
Today I went bunless and without the rice too and served my kale pork over some wilted spinach and along side some avocado, plantain chips and pineapple, with a drizzle of Hawaiian BBQ sauce. Leftovers though? They're going to be turned into tacos tonight. Yum!
Every time that I make this, almost everyone will go back for a second helping. It's dangerous stuff, I tell you. I love that this pork is so easy to make and gives you a ton of meat; truly enough to feed a crowd.
If you don't have a lot of mouths to feed, be prepared to freeze some of the leftovers or plan to use up what's not gobbled up. A few ideas to use up leftovers would be tacos, enchiladas, burritos, or maybe even a BBQ style pizza topping.
Healthified Crock Pot Kalua Pork
TheSkinnyFork.com (Originally posted 5/16/13)
Servings: 10 • Size: About 1/2 C. Meat • Calories: 195.5 • Fat: 9.6 g • Carb: 0.5 g • Fiber: 0.2 g • Protein: 27.7 g • Sugar: 0 g • Sodium: 1131.5 mg
3 Lb. Boneless Pork Shoulder Roast (Pork Butt)
1 Tbsp. Sea Salt
1 Tbsp. Pepper
1 Tbsp. Liquid Smoke
1 Tbsp. Ginger Root, Chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
Heat a large skillet over a medium-high to high heat.
Rub the pork down with the salt and pepper and place it into the skillet.
Sear (or brown) the meat in a large skillet. Don't cook it through entirely. aybe just 5 or so minutes on all sides over medium to medium-high heat.
This helps to lock in the natural flavors of the pork.
Toss the pork and the remaining ingredients into a crock pot together, secure the lid, and cook for up to 10-12 hours on low. You could even set this to cook overnight for up to 16 hours so that it's party-ready for the next day!
Once the meat is falling apart to the touch of a fork, remove the roast from the crock pot. Discard the juices (or reserve for another use) and shred the meat with two forks.