This recipe and ancient cooking technique (slow cooking meat in banana leaves) delivers a ton of flavor and the pork literally falls apart. Never did four ingredients over low heat for a few hours taste SO good. Also, the leftover pork (if there is any) makes great lettuce wraps, tacos or pulled BBQ pork sandwiches. BBQ season is upon us and when I think of firing up my BBQ, I think of Kalua pork. Kalua pork is one of my most favorite ways to prepare pork. Don’t care for pork? I’ve also had a fair amount of luck preparing whole chickens and chicken pieces this way.
Package banana leaves
3-4 pound pork roast (traditionally a shoulder roast but I use a leaner sirloin cut – don’t worry, you won’t miss the fat), scored on the outside
2 tablespoons sea salt
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
Preaheat BBQ to low heat.
Preaparing the banana leaves:
Banana leaves are and excellent cooking tool. However, without a little help, the tend to be rigid and difficult to wrap around a roast. There are a couple of methods to soften the leaves. Some people like to soak them in hot water. I don’t bother wasting the water. Instead, I throw them on the already hot grill. Here are some photos of the leaves. You can see that, as the stoften, they change to a darker green color and have a sheen. It only takes a few seconds per side so watch closely and have the grilling tongs on hand.
Once your leaves are softened, line a large bowl with a few pieces of twine then several layers of banana leaf. Place the pork in the leaves, drizzle on the liquid smoke, then sprinkle with sea salt. Wrap the pork roast with the banana leaves in a “package” and tie a few times around with twine. Wrap the entire package in a layer of aluminum foil (to keep any juices in).
Grill on low heat for 3-4 hours or until the pork easily falls apart with a fork. When ready, simply open the package and serve family style.