So I am obsessed with pulled pork. My boyfriend PJ and I once ate pulled pork 3 days in a row. I am not ashamed – I love it.
Now my mom makes the absolute best Kalua pork. Kalua is actually “a traditional Hawaiian cooking method that utilizes an imu, a type of underground oven.” Here is a picture of some attractive Hawaiian men showing us how it’s done in Hawaii.
The first time I ever had Kalua pork, I was 10 years old, and I was at a Luau in Maui. I’m sure that was actually the best Kalua pork I’ve ever had, but I was so young, I don’t even remember it. So anyways, after that luau my parents wanted to recreate the amazing meal we had there. Now, 12 years later, my mom has that recipe perfected.
Of course, we do not have an underground oven, and we do not dig ditches to cook our pork, but there’s this amazing thing called liquid smoke that is sold in stores. Here is a picture in case you think I’m joking.
So anyways, here is what you do. Settle down, it’s almost easier than making the rice to go with it. You buy yourself a nice pork butt, pork shoulder, pork roast, whatever you want to call it (it’s all the same thing.) It looks like this:
Because PJ and I are pulled pork badasses, we bought a 3+ pound roast… for the two of us. But it was enormous, so I had to cut it into two halves.
First things first… Preheat the oven to 325. Once I turned my extremely slow oven on, I put two tablespoons of liquid smoke and two tablespoons of salt in a pasta bowl. The pasta bowl is nice for seasoning things because its not flat, and it’s wide enough to hold half of a 3 pound pork butt. In case you were wondering, a pasta bowl is not as shallow as a plate, but not as deep as a bowl. It looks like this:
I then laid out three big pieces of aluminum foil. I rolled each half of the pork butt in the liquid smoke/salt mixture, making sure each and every square centimeter was seasoned, and set each half on separate foil pieces. I rolled them up very tight, making sure the openings were on top and that there were no other openings. (Honestly, I used like 7 pieces of foil because I kept messing up.)
I then took out an 8x8x2 pan and filled it with 1 inch of water. This is why it is important that there are no other openings in the foil and that the opening is on top. Next, I put each half of the roast in the pan and closed that off with foil as well. I baked it for 4 hours (even though my mom told me 5-6 hours). Our roast was smaller than hers normally are, and it was perfectly tender in only 4 hours.
When I took it out of the oven, I made sure to hold hand towels over my hands and stand back while opening the foil because I am not trying to get burns. I put the roasts on a big cutting board and moved on to making the rice. Once the rice was done, I used two forks to pull apart the roast and put it in a giant bowl (we had enough pork for a family of 6.)
This beautiful meal is served well with rice, Sriracha, and King’s Hawaiian Rolls.