Kalua Buried Pork Shoulder
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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Kalua Buried Pork Shoulder

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 10 hr 45 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 10 to 12 servings
With this genius grill hack, you can serve tender, juicy Hawaiian-style pork for a crowd, minus the hassle of digging a hole in your backyard as traditional recipes demand.





Special equipment:
an 8- to 10-quart cast-iron Dutch oven with a cast-iron lid; a charcoal chimney; a kettle-style charcoal grill with a lid; luau-inspired toothpicks
  1. For the pork: Season the pork shoulder generously with salt and pepper. Lay the pork in the middle of a banana leaf and wrap the leaf around it. Rotate the pork a quarter turn and wrap with another leaf. Repeat with the remaining leaves. Wrap with heavy-duty foil twice to make sure it is completely encased. Line the bottom of an 8- to 10-quart cast-iron Dutch oven with a cast-iron lid with a damp paper towel. Put the pork on the paper towel and cover with the lid. Set aside.
  2. Fill a charcoal chimney completely full with charcoal and light it. Once it is lit and starting to ash over, carefully move the chimney to a heatproof surface. Remove the top grilling rack of a kettle-style charcoal grill (you will not need it for grilling). Put the Dutch oven in the middle of the bottom grate of the grill. Put unlit charcoal pieces all around the Dutch oven and then empty the chimney on top of it. Using metal tongs, spread out the hot coals so they are on top of the Dutch oven as well as all around the sides (depending on the size of your grill you may need to add another chimney full of charcoal). Keep the grill uncovered and fully vented for 10 to 15 minutes to get the unlit coals started. Then put the lid on and close the bottom and top vents about 90% of the way. Cook the pork, checking every so often to make sure the grill is still hot and the temperature is hovering around 250 degrees F (add more lit charcoal as needed to maintain temperature), until completely tender, about 10 hours. 
  3. For the coleslaw: Meanwhile, combine the coleslaw mix with the rice vinegar, chiles, mango, scallions, pineapple and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and refrigerate while the pork cooks, at least 2 hours. You can also prepare the slaw the day before.
  4. Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the ashes. Remove the lid and use scissors to cut an X through the top of the foil and banana leaves, all the way to the meat. Shred the meat with 2 forks, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine the meat with the juices. 
  5. Sandwich some pork and coleslaw between the split rolls and secure with luau-inspired toothpicks.