Kalua PorkYou can't have a luau (loo-ow) without the star attraction- kalua pig. The traditional way of cooking this porktastic feast involves a whole pig, digging a pit in the ground, finding a bunch of lava rocks and keawe (kay-ah-vay) (mesquite) wood, heating everything up to the right temperature, seasoning the pig, putting hot lava rocks in the cavity, then into the pit and cover with banana leaves and wet burlap to lock in the heat and moisture and cook for most of the day. Now you can make kalua pig in a crock pot or oven so you won't have to work too hard for some flavorful and succulent pork for your next get together.

Ingredients:

1 7-8 lb pork butt (shoulder)

2- 2 1/2 Tbs liquid smoke- preferably mesquite but hickory will do

2-3 Tbs Hawaiian rock salt or Kosher salt

Directions:

Rub pork butt with liquid smoke making sure to get in all the nooks and crannies, then do the same with the salt.

Crock pot instructions:

Place pork in crock pot on low setting and cook 6-8 hours. The general rule of thumb is 45-60 minutes per pound. When pork is done, shut off heat and let it sit covered for 30 minutes before handling, then follow instructions below.

Oven directions:

Place pork in dutch oven with lid and cook 8-10 hours at 225-250 degrees. Let cool 30 minutes in pot before handling.

Time to break down the pork- please don't skip this part as it really does make a difference when it comes to this dish. When cool enough to handle, remove pork and reserve the cooking liquid minus the fat. If you have a fat separator this is the perfect time to use it. The rule of thumb is this: If it's fatty, gristly, stringy or bone, throw it out. All you want is pure meat. Shred the meat with your hands into fine pieces and be sure to mix the light and dark meat together. When this process is done, add about 1/2- 2/3 cup of the reserved cooking liquid to moisten the pork. mix again with your hands. Taste and add more liquid or salt if needed.

Makes 8-10 servings

*Try it local style and offer some chili pepper water to put on top of your kalua pork. Yum!