Ever since I made my Hawaiian plate lunch with macadamia nut chicken, I've been dreaming of other things that would be equally good sitting next to a couple of scoops of mac salad and sticky rice. There's always chicken adobo, similar to the simple soy sauce chicken I like to make, but what I decided on was the husband's favorite plate lunch: kalua pig.
Usually this involves a whole pig roasted in a pit for hours and hours. I have neither pit nor patience, so when I came across a simple, oven-based recipe that called for a mere four hours of roasting time, I knew my search was over.
It's so simple I'm not sure it really counts as cooking. There are three ingredients and only a handful of steps, which take a total of about five minutes. Then you stick the whole thing in the oven for four hours. Don't check it, don't turn it, don't baste it. Just roast it.
What you end up with is super tender, smoky pork that is easily shredded with a couple of forks. You can serve it plain, but me, I like it with cabbage, which is traditional. I happened to have a big head of Napa cabbage, which I cut up into chunks and cooked over low heat with garlic and ginger. I've seen other recipes where the pork ends up with a soy-based sauce, which you then cook the cabbage in. I like this idea, but I kept it old school. And it was downright delicious.
I'm completely in love with this recipe, and you will be too. Next up for the plate lunch: teriyaki ribs.
From Firehouse Food
1 boneless pork butt (about 4 lbs.)
2 T. liquid smoke
2 T. kosher salt
Adjust the oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 400.
Cut several slashes in the pork, about 1/2 inch deep and 1 1/2 inches long. Do not trim off the external fat. Brush the surface of the meat with the liquid smoke. Pat the salt evenly over the pork. Wrap the meat tightly in several layers of aluminum foil and put it in a heavy casserole dish or Dutch oven with a lid. Cover and bake for 4 hours.
Remove from the oven and carefully cut open the foil. The meat should be moist and falling apart. Allow it to cool slightly, then shred it with 2 forks.
For the cabbage: Slice or chop coarsely a head of Napa or green cabbage. In a wok or wide frying pan, heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat. When hot, add two minced cloves of garlic and a few slices of ginger. Let sizzle briefly. Add the cabbage, sprinkle with salt, and toss to coat. Cook over medium-low until soft, about 20-30 minutes. Keep the heat low so cabbage gets soft, not crispy. Serve with pork.