Hawaiian-Style Banana-Leaf-Wrapped Roasted Pork Recipe
Wild pig hunting is popular on the Hawaiian Islands. The porcine invaders thrive in the tropical paradise, and hunting them is both a fun pastime and the best way to keep their population in check — so is eating them. The pig roast, known as a Kālua, is a traditional Hawaiian cooking method that utilizes an imu, a type of underground oven. The word kālua, literally means "to cook in an underground oven". Whole hogs are wrapped in banana leaves and lowered into a pit in which large stones have been heated by fire. The stones retain enough heat to slowly cook the pig into a tender and delicious meal.
4 pounds of pork shoulder, wild or domestic, cut into large chunks
1 can of pineapple slices, in 100% juice
1 sweet onion, sliced
1 plantain, peeled and sliced
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup barbecue rub
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon minced ginger
3 cloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper
3-4 banana leaves, stems removed
4 pieces of butcher's twine, cut into 3 foot lengths
Start by stripping the stems from the banana leaves. In a half-size aluminum pan (approximately 10 inches x13 inches) lay out butcher's twine in a double-cross pattern. Line the pan with banana-leaf sections, overlapping the edges.
Fold the banana leaves over the pork, completely covering the meat. Use the string to tie the leaves into a tight bundle, sealing the pork inside. Slow cook the pork on your smoker or grill at about 275 degrees for 3 to 4 hours.
Snip the strings with a sharp knife and carefully fold back the leaves. The pork should be tender enough to almost fall apart. Plate a piece or two of pork, top with onions, pineapple and plantain slices, then spoon over some of the juice from the pan.