Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kalua Pork

Just because I still have several pork chops in the freezer. The star of every luau is actually very easy to make. Most recipes call for pork butt or another fatty cut, so it can self-baste a little.

I couldn't find banana or ti leaves, so I got some dried corn husks. You could also use foil or parchment paper, but I was looking for something to add flavor. Now I have leftover husks for some other things I want to make. Liquid smoke lives with the barbecue sauces. The recipes I looked at call for Hawaiian Sea Salt. The closest I could find was Himalayan Sea Salt (I'll wait while you think about that one) at Target. Decided to skip it and use regular Kosher salt. It's the large crystals that make the difference.

When cooking for a larger group, say Memorial Day or 4th of July, spring for a whole pork loin if you're doing the loin cut. I lined up two chops as though they were still part of the loin.

1 to 1-1/2 lb pork loin chops
1 Tb kosher salt
2 tsp liquid smoke
1 dried corn husk

1. Soak husk in hot water until the layers peel off, about 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350º.

2. Lay out a large sheet of heavy-duty foil. Arrange 3-4 husk leaves on the foil. Place 1/2 Tb salt and 1 tsp liquid smoke on the leaves, then place the meat on top. Sprinkle the other half of the salt and smoke on top and arrange several more leaves on the top of the meat. Fold leaves to encase loin chop, and wrap securely with foil. Using another large sheet of foil, enclose the package with a water-tight seal.

3. Place foil package in a deep, oven-proof pan. Add two inches of hot water. Cover with a secure lid or more foil and place in oven. Bake for one hour, then reduce heat to 325º and bake an additional 2 to 3 hours, depending on thickness of meat. Check every hour and add more water if necessary.

4. Remove package from pan and let rest until cool enough to handle, but still warm. With two forks, shred meat. Serve hot, accompanied by barbecue sauce or - for the brave - poi.

Difficulty rating  :)

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