If you have been to Hawaii and attended a luau, you have probably seen the whole pig cooked underground. The rich smoky flavours are to die for. Just thinking about it makes me drool.
If you know me or have read my other blog posts, Hawaii has a very special place in my heart. I literally think about visiting Hawaii at least once a day! (seriously, who doesn’t want to eat great food and enjoy the ocean waves? amirite?) But the real reason why I love Hawaii so much is because my husband and I got engaged and married there….and who are we kidding, the food plays a big part as well.
If you haven’t visited Hawaii and ate all their local eats, you must!! Go book your trip now! The fish is fresh and the traditional Hawaiian foods paired with their hospitality is truly heartwarming. When I visited a few years back, I tried the dish Kalua, which is essentially the whole pig cooked in an underground oven. It usually takes a few hours but when you dig the pig out of the ground, the smoky rich smell accompanied by the meat that just melts in your mouth, you are transformed to Hawaii food heaven. (Friends, this is a thing you will experience a lot while dining in Hawaii).
Since I cannot live in Hawaii forever, I try to mimic the flavours of this amazing dish back home and now I will share my secret recipe to you! Get ready to be addicted.
- 4 lb pork shoulder (bone in for even better flavours)
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke (you can usually find this in the BBQ sauce section of your local grocery stores)
- 2 Ontario Gala Apples washed and diced up roughly (removing core)
- 1 bartlett pear washed and diced up roughly (removing core)
- 1 cup water
- 1 Gala Apples – washed and cut into strips
- 2 cups washed arugula
- 4 of your favourite sandwich buns
Yield: 4 hearty sandwiches
- In your instant pot (don’t worry if you don’t have an Instant Pot, scroll to the bottom to see how you can make this in a regular slow cooker) add pork, salt, liquid smoke, apples, pear and water
- Set your instant pot to manual, high pressure for one hour
- Make sure you put your instant pot to “sealing” on the top so it can build up pressure
- After one hour, manually release the steam valve, open and stir
- Using two forks, pull apart the pork from the bone and shred
- Assemble your sandwich with a bed of arugula, pulled pork, fresh apple strips and devour!
If you don’t have an Instant Pot (well you should get one!!), you can easily cook this in a slow cooker as well. You will use all the same ingredients and add 1 more cup of water. Set your slow cooker on low for 5 hours.
Gala apples work really well in this recipe since they are so delicious fresh and tastes great without cooking them. The gala apples that are cooked, literally just melts into the sauce of this dish and gives it a slight sweetness. The fresh apples as the toppings really gives the sandwich a nice consistency and provides a great crunch. Gala apples are a definite favourite in our household.
*Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. As always the recipe and opinions are my own.