Hawaiian Pulled Pork with Pineapple Salsa and Forbidden Rice
Whenever I take a trip, I’m compelled to make something from that trip upon my return. I’m not sure whether this is more about trying to extend my vacation, or an effort to learn more about the foods and cultures I’ve just visited. I do know that on one return from Mexico, I made fresh pico de gallo for about a week straight. Fortunately, there’s plenty of this pulled pork left to satisfy me for a few days.I recently visited my daughter in Oahu, and I drove past the Dole pineapple plantation several times in the course of a few days. I guess that, along with the fabulous pulled pork lumpia we had one day and the pineapple that seemed to make it’s way onto almost every plate of food we shared, inspired me to create this dish.Jenny said they make Hawaiian pulled pork in the restaurants she’s worked in there, and it’s a simple recipe: some pork butt (I used fresh leg because it’s what I had), liquid smoke (just a little), and Hawaiian pink sea salt. The secret is in how you cook it – low and slow, wrapped tightly in layers of foil (or banana leaves if you’re in Hawaii) until it’s fork tender. Mine took over 4 hours – so long that we had it the second night for dinner instead of the night I made it. The pork is savory and salty and tender, and the pineapple salsa turns out to be a perfect pairing with it. I served it with this purple/black forbidden rice that I got at whole foods, which gives it a dramatic flair, but you can serve it with any rice you like. This dish may seem a bit fancy, but it’s simple to make. Try it – you’ll be glad you did!
- 1 fresh pork butt or leg, about 4 pounds, bone in
- 2 tablespoons Liquid Smoke
- 1-2 tablespoons Hawaiian pink sea salt
- 1 small pineapple, diced very small
- 1 large jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 2-4 tablespoons chopped cilantro, to taste
- Lay out several layers of foil and set the pork in the center of the foil. Pour the liquid smoke over the pork, making sure to coat it well. Sprinkle the sea salt all over, then wrap the roast tightly.
- Cook at 300 degrees until fork tender and falling off the bone, about 4-5 hours. Let cool enough to handle, then shred with your hands or forks. Put the pulled pork into a bowl and pour over any pan drippings and toss together.
- Combine pineapple with jalapeno, shallot and cilantro and allow flavors to meld for at least 30 minutes. Serve pulled pork over rice with Pineapple Salsa on top.
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