Michael Voltaggio’s Kalua Pig, as seen on Guy's Ranch Kitchen, season 6.
Recipe courtesy of Michael Voltaggio

Pressure Cooker Kalua Pig

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 15 hr 55 min (includes brining time)
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
This pork shoulder is inspired by the smoky flavors of Kalua Pig, but uses a pressure cooker to speed up the cooking time. In this version, the pork is brined first and beer is added to the braise, which reduces to a glossy sauce.


Pork Brine:

For Serving:


Special equipment:
kitchen twine; a pressure cooker
  1. For the brine: Combine the kosher salt, brown sugar, fish sauce, pink salt, coriander, black peppercorns, star anise, clove and 2.5 liters (85 ounces) water in a large pot. Bring to a simmer, then immediately remove from the heat and cool. Fully submerge the pork in the brine and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
  2. Remove the pork from the brine and pat dry. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat.
  3. Place a banana sheet down in the bottom of a large stovetop pressure cooker, making sure that it is a snug fit. Grill the pork shoulder, taking care to char on all sides. Place the pork in the pressure cooker and cover with the remaining banana leaf to top. Add the onions and 1 bottle of the Hawaiian ale, then enough from the second bottle as needed to bring the liquid to 1/4-inch from the top of the pork. Lock on the lid, then cook under full pressure for 1 hour. Allow the pressure cooker to release naturally. Let cool until the pork is almost bearable to touch with bare hands. Remove the pork to a cutting board, then remove the twine and shred the meat. Add the meat to a very large sauté pan and pour the liquid from the pressure cooker over the pork. Cook over medium-high heat until it has reduced and is glossy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce.
  4. For serving: Combine the Dijon mustard with the fish sauce in a small bowl. Serve the kalua pork with the butter lettuce, red onion and mustard sauce.

Cook’s Note

Banana leaf will help keep the pork from sticking to the bottom of the pressure cooker. The extra beer that is not used in this recipe is meant for the chef!