I love Hawaii. In my mind it is beautiful and perfect: sandy beaches, warm weather and delicious foods. And lately, I have been really wanting to go back (I don’t know, maybe it is from all this dreary Seattle weather). Unfortunately, I can’t jump on a plane and head off to Hawaii at this moment, so I decided to bring a touch of “Aloha” to the dinner table.
Now, one thing to keep in mind about Kalua Pork. It is traditionally cooked all day in an underground fire pit. Since, I had a feeling my neighbors (and my husband) would not approve of me attempting this cooking method, I decided to go the more modern, slow cooker route, using this wonderful Slow Cooker Kalua Pig recipe on Nom Nom Paleo.
Don’t be fooled, the pork still needed a long (and I mean long) cook time, but I was determined to make this dish. And when I say determined, I mean “wake-up at 5:30am on a Saturday” determined.
And there I was blurry eyed and half asleep, peeling garlic cloves, bright and early Saturday morning. My pork roast was slightly smaller than what the recipe called for (I was feeding less people), so I modified it slightly, using a little less garlic and salt.
Speaking of salt, the recipe calls for Alaea Red Hawaiian Sea Salt, which you can find on Amazon (with my handy affiliate link). The cost is reasonable and it is worth every penny. We have it in a little salt cellar by our stove.
Prepping the pork roast was pretty quick (although I do recommend pealing the garlic the night before) and I was able to get it into my dearly loved slow-cooker (affiliate link) within 30 minutes time. I set the timer for 12 hours and went back to bed.
Closer to eating time, my husband put together the Musubi. Musubi is kind of like Spam sushi. You place slices of grilled Spam on top of a block of rice and wrap it in nori. My husband added homemade furikake to the rice and hand shaped each Musubi. If you are planning to make this dish, a Musubi mold (affiliatlink) would make it a bit easier and faster to make, especially if you are making it for a crowd.
To complete the meal, my husband make a quick coleslaw and my sister-in-law made a traditional Hawaiian macaroni salad. These creamy salads cut through the salt and fat of the pork.
I have to admit, when I first pulled the pork from the slow cooker, I was a little concerned. It had shrunk in size and I was worried it would not make enough for everyone. But once I shredded it, I saw that the 4lb roast made more than enough to serve 4 adults and 2 kids.
We sliced some King’s Hawaiian roles, poured glasses of cool, Squadra Bianco and Voilà! dinner was served.
Now, you may ask why I served an Italian wine with a Hawaiian meal, and the answer is simple: “because I can.”
The 2014 Bianco was the perfect accompaniment to the salty (but not too salty, mind you) meat and the creamy salads. The wine had a slight yellow tint to it (a bit of sunshine, you might say) and smelled fruity, with slight hint of citrus. The fresh, crisp palette paired nicely and wasn’t over shadowed by the flavors in the meal. Let’s just say, it was a sunny, beach friendly wine. Aloha baby!
I am proud to say my first attempt at making kalua pork was a success. The early wake-up and long cook time was definitely worth it. This meal brought a touch of Aloha to the start of our summer.
Dear readers, I used Amazon affiliate links in this post to products that I recommend and use. Do note, the affiliate links are at no added cost to you.