|The little pile on the left is the smoked salt grains|
Slow cooker Kalua pig has quite a bit of notoriety among slow-cooker recipes. It's so simple yet so tasty: just get a huge pork roast, rub it with liquid smoke and [preferably Hawaiian sea] salt, and cook for a long time until meltingly tender. I've made it several times and it's always a hit. But what if someone doesn't want to use liquid smoke? A lot of people find the taste to be overpowering or artificial. Others are just skeeved out by the concept. So I decided to try it using a smoked salt. There is a local spice shop that stocks a ton of specialty salts, so I figured I'd stop by and try some out.
Check out my crappy cell phone picture of the wall-o-salts (okay, rack-o-salts). I had no idea that there was such a variety. I went ahead and tried a few. The French grey sea salt was really interesting in that it still had an ocean-y sea salt taste, and I loved the melty/crunchy texture of the flake salts like the pretty pink Murray River and the fleur de sel. I really want to try making homemade finishing salts with these (sausage with beer mustard and caraway finishing salt, anyone?). But I digress -- I was there on a mission for smoked salt. She recommended the alderwood but I much preferred the flavor of the applewood so I bought that. And a bottle of sherry vinegar. And some expensive vanilla extract. I, uh, might have bought some other spices too...
I have a problem.
But! The net result is that I have a ridiculously easy and wonderfully delicious pork recipe for you. I also loved sprinkling the individual plated servings with a little bit of the smoked salt for some extra flavor and crunch. Definitely cannot do that with liquid smoke!
SLOW COOKED KALUA PIG
- 1 pork roast, approximately 6 lbs (Boston butt or picnic shoulder, bone out or in, doesn't matter)
- 1.5-2 Tbs smoked sea salt such as Vspicery applewood smoked
Pierce the pork roast several times with the tip of a knife. Rub it with the smoked salt. Place in the slow cooker with the fat cap or skin side up. Cook on low for a long time (9-12 hours) or until very tender. Shred and serve. I like to accompany it with cabbage braised in the pork juices.