Luau next week.
I have been commissioned to make some Hawaiian style pulled pork for an office party next week. According to Fastball from this thread to feed 60+ people I need about 20LBs of cooked pork. So that is at least 40lbs of raw pork. Figuring each butt is around 8lbs, I need at at least 5 butts. I will probably do 6-7 butts to be safe.
Here are my questions.
1) I have never loaded up my drum with that much meat before (it's a shame, I know) will having it loaded so full drastically effect my cooking times/temps? I normally just do a couple butts/slabs at a time. Figuring on 225, foil at 160, rest at 185. Assuming it takes 1.5 -2hrs per lb. looking at 12-16 hours? Correct?
2) The event is after work on Thursday. Should I smoke this weekend, pull and hold in the refrigerator until Thursday? or start Wednesday night, and pull them/rest them in the morning? I would rather smoke this weekend so i can get some sleep, and have it all taken care of.
3) Anyone have some great recipes for me? I have never done "Hawaiian style" pork, but I am guessing it is more of a sweeter flavor. Pineapple and soy type of injection perhaps? I will be doing some research, but wanted to ask the pros here first.
Thanks in advance for any help.
2)I would do the second option. Only downside is you have no time to recover should there be a problem
3)Real Hawaiian style pork (Kalua pig) isn't really all that sweet. It's roasted in a pit the call an Imu. They build a large fire, and let it burn down to coals, then put big rocks in to absorb and hold some of the heat. Then a layer of bananna or something I think they called Ti leaf. Pig is rubbed down with salt, and usually wrapped in chicken wire (to keep it from falling apart when cooked) lowered in, covered with more leaves, and they fill the hole with sand. Some hours later, they pull it out, then carry it to a table and shred. The salt rubdown is really the only seasoning
It's really steamed, rather than cooked over wood, so it doesn't have the wood smoked taste that bbq pork does, but it does absorb a certain grassiness from the leaves. I don't honestly think too many folks who haven't been to the islands would know the difference, but if you want to give a certain air of authenticity, you could offer some pink Alaea salt (google it) on the side
I would be careful injecting with pineapple, might make the meat mushy
You will need to make 1/3 lb - 1/2 lb meat for each guest if no other entr'ee is served.
I have instructions for oven baking "Randy's Famous 13 hour Kalua Pig" if you want it. I will try to post it right now.
Ingredients for Randy's Famous 13 Hour Kalua Pig:
1. Pork butt, pork shoulder, or some other piece of pork with fat on it*
3. Hawaiian-style "rock" salt or coarse Kosher salt
4. Liquid/hickory smoke flavor concentrate
5. A big deeeep roasting pan (two if you can)
6. An oven
How much pork should you buy to make kalua pig?
First, you need to know approximately how many people you are expecting, what type of event you are cooking/catering for, and what the context is of the kalua pig with the other menu items. Generally, a good rule of thumb is that the average person will eat anywhere from 1/4lb. of kalua pig, if it is served in conjunction with other items, such as a buffet line (i.e.: rice, poi, chicken long rice, laulau, curry stew, etc.). However, if the kalua pig is one of the only dishes (i.e., a dinner party with kalua pig/rice and vegetarian curry stew), people will be more apt to eat 1/3lb. - 1/2lb., or more if they are really hungry or homesick. Then, take into consideration that most cuts of pork have bones that are relatively heavy. If you are catering a large-ish event (100+ people), then you can opt towards having about 1/4lb. per person; not everyone will eat the kalua pig. For small gatherings (~30 people), I will usually buy about 15lbs., because I like to have extra to save for later.
I will now describe each step in making my 13-hour kalua pig.
You need to get realllly deep trays. This is to collect the juices and steam the pork. You need to double the pans so that there is enough support to hold the pork (it'll be really heavy).
This is the raw pork. Notice the big slabs of fat on top. This is what you want, if you want juicy kalua pig. We'll remove most of the fat later (after cooking) but for now, keep it on.
Coarse Kosher salt is a good substitute for Hawaiian-style "rock" salt. It comes in a big box like the one pictured here. Liquid smoke concentrate usually comes in smallish bottles like the one at right. (Sorry for the blurriness picture).
Prepare & Season the Pork
Place pork in pan, with fat on top. Lightly sprinkle the Kosher salt over the pork and around the sides of the pan. Empty one capful (or less) of hickory smoke flavoring onto top of pork and around sides. Be careful; the smoke concentrate is very strong; a little goes a looong way!
Cover the Pork with Water
Cover the pork with water. Notice how the pork is mostly submerged; however there is at least one inch of space between water surface and top of pan. When you pour the water into the pan, pour some on the top of the pork to make it moist. You can add a little extra salt around the the pork if you want. The water and salt will steam the pork.
Prepare Pork for Cooking
Cover the pans tightly with foil. It is crucial that the foil be wrapped as tightly as possible; this will ensure that the meat stays moist and won't dry out over the next thirteen hours. As tight as the foil has been wrapped, you still must be careful when loading the pans into the oven; these pans will be heavy with salty water, and cleaning up any spills will be a big mess.
Cook the Pork in the Oven
Preheat your oven to somewhere between 175-200 degrees Farenheit:
I know it sounds like a really low temperature, but trust me. You wanted the 13 hour method, didn't you? ...
Place the pork in the oven, and say "a hui hou" (until we meet again). Bon Voyage, dear pork, see you in 13 hours.
THIRTEEN HOURS LATER...
Take the pork out of the oven. It will be swimming in its own juices. Using two forks, wrestle free a chunk of pork and place it on the cutting board.
Start shredding the pork into threads as thin/small as you can, again using your two forks. If for some reason you encounter a tough section (typically whiteish in color), you will need to use extra caution and be sure to shred it as finely as possible. However, you likely won't encounter any tough sections (unless the cut of pork is bad), due to the 13 hour duration of cooking. In my experience, the meat should be so tender that it literally falls of the bone and apart from itself. The color of the juiciest meat will typically be dark brown with a reddish tinge. You can leave some fat with the shredded meat, but remove all of the larger pieces, along with any bones or tendons. I collect these in a bowl to toss out later. The shredded meat should be placed back in the pan with the original juices. You can remove some of the juices, but the pork should essentially be saturated with its juices. Give it a taste, and decide if you want to add just a touch more salt. Extra hickory flavoring should never be added because the taste of the concentrate won't blend well with the already-steamed pork.
After shredding, mix pork and juices by hand. This is also an excellent time to further refine the shreds, and to remove any pieces of fat, bone, or cartilege that you may have missed previously. If you are serving right away, you may want to quickly reheat the pork in the oven. If not, re-cover pans with foil and refridgerate or freeze. Reheat frozen pork at 350 degrees Farenheit for 15 minutes, and then dial temperature back down to 175-200 degrees. Refridgerated pork may be reheated directly at 175-200 degrees. Before serving re-heated pork, stir pan contents to even out mixture of pork and juices. If you plan to refridgerate pork and re-heat before serving, be sure to include an extra helping of juices - this will help keep the pork moist and fresh.
This recipe, text, and images copyright 2004 by Randy Wong.
For the Pineapple Barbecue Sauce:
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup ketchup
1 cup barbecue sauce
1 cup pineapple preserves
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple in juice
¼ cup cider vinegar
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated fresh gingerroot
Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, until slightly thickened. Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Can be prepared up to 1 week ahead.
Makes 4 cups of sauce.
Usually not sauced.(but the one above sounds tasty!)
Other dishes to serve with it would be Laulau, poke usually made with Ahi tuna, Chicken long rice, usually there's poi, but most folks I know can pass on that, and I don't know where you might find taro, or pre-made poi on the mainland. Other ideas are chicken lu'au, chicken Katsu, Char Siu ribs, guava cake, haupia (a coconut dessert), lomi lomi salmon....list goes on.
You could also do huli huli chicken, but you'd have to do it the day before and reheat
If you google luau food you should find links to lots of good recipes.
There was a pretty good thread here about huli huli chicken not long ago that I think Saiko posted
Rats I couldn't get the pictures to go. :(
We are going to have side dishes, I just didn't know if it would be served on a bun with any additional items like slaw or sauce. Just seems like it would be a little dry all by itself on a bun.
I thought about doing some Huli Huli too, just don't think I can juggle too much else all by myself without having the weekend to do it.
Thanks for the advice!
Thanks for the info wannchef doing it in the oven might not be the worst way to do it. I know that i will definitely get more sleep that way...
not so sure about the liquid smoke though...
Serving it on buns, while not traditional, would make it a boatload easier for sure, but if you cook it right, dryness shouldn't be an issue
I have a question: In the 13hr recipe posted, doesn't submerging the pork in water essentially boil it? If you want to use the oven for convenience sake, with a large group to feed, could one wrap the pork in banana leaves or something and then slow cook in the oven?
Didn't mean to hijack the thread... just wondering.:confused:
I wasn't looking at that recipe, just the sauce. The recipe sounds similar to one I saw Sam Choy put up somewhere. his has the pork wrapped in bananna leaves and then foil, so not sure what the water does except create a steamy environment in the oven. If the oven is between 175 and 200, the water won't boil (that's 212). I don't know about covering the pork with water without wrapping it first though, wouldn't much of the flavor leach into the water?
Edit - found the choy recipe
That is more of what i was thinking, still not sure how i will approach it.
Repy 13 hr pork
This is a braising technique. You can also wrap the meat in banana leaves then pour in the water. Banana leaves can be purchased at almost any latin supermarket (fresh or frozen). HTH
ain't a luau without poi ! also you need macaroni salad. you can find frozen banana leaves to cook in and also to spread out for that luau feeling.
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