Dixie's Kalua Pork

Dixie’s Kalua Pork

Have you ever tasted something on the end of your fork and thought, “WOW!! Just – WOW! I’ve never tasted anything this incredible before!!”? I had that thought a few months ago when I tried some of Dixie’s Kalua Pork. It was so good that I couldn’t stop exclaiming, “SHUT UP!” as I took each bite. It was ridiculously tender and full of flavor and if “falling in love” had a flavor, it tasted like that.

If that got your attention, then keep reading and I’ll tell you how Dixie made this life-changing pork recipe. It didn’t exactly change our lives when she shared her recipe, but our lives changed when my husband tried the recipe and we discovered this was easier than the way we’ve been cooking carnitas for years! I think we’ll be hard-pressed to use anything BUT this recipe when we cook pork. It so versatile! This recipe works as-is for the foundation of a Hawaiian meal; it could work as a Japanese meal with teriyaki sauce; and I would season leftovers with cumin, coriander, Mexican oregano and make a burrito bowl or anything Mexican with the leftovers. YUM!

Here’s how to make this really simple, incredibly juicy, tender and tasty, mouth-watering, crave-worthy, naturally gluten-free slow cooker recipe that we think is Paleo, Daleo, Whole30 and Virgin Diet-approved.

Dixie's Kalua Pork

Dixie’s Kalua Pork

Serves 6-8


3-5 pounds of pork (picnic, shoulder or butt)
Minced garlic, to taste
Liquid smoke, to taste
1.5 T. Pink Hawaiian Salt or more, to taste (found at Cost Plus World Market)
Partial package of banana leaves (in the frozen section of an Asian market)

This is one of those recipes that is very forgiving and allows you to “feel” or “eyeball” the recipe. We used a couple of picnic pork cuts that equaled 4 lbs. and easily had 8 dinner servings.

Line a slow cooker with the banana leaves: overlap them in a criss-cross fashion and leave enough leaf height exposed so they can completely wrap the meat.

Place the meat on a cutting board and with a sharp knife, puncture holes in the meat and fill the holes with minced garlic from a jar or garlic slices. Use your fingers to push the garlic into the holes.

Drizzle liquid smoke, straight from the bottle, into the holes. Some will spill out onto the top of the roast(s).

Sprinkle Pink Hawaiian Salt (NO kosher salt) onto the pork and carefully transfer the roast(s) to the slow cooker and carefully fold banana leaves over the meat.

Close the lid on the slow cooker and set it on LOW heat for 7-9 hours.

After cooking, remove the meat and shred or break it into tasty chunks. Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker, on top of the moist banana leaves. If there’s an over-abundance of liquid, discard some. It shouldn’t look like soup, but there should be enough liquid to keep the meat moist.

Fold the banana leaves over the shredded meat and slow-cook on LOW for another 2-4 hours.

Serve over Jasmine rice and enjoy!!

For not anticipating a blog post today, I think my husband’s photos turned out really well!

This is the pork, wrapped in banana leaves, after cooking for 8 hours. What’s the plastic? We use slow cooker liners for easy clean-up!

Banana leaf-wrapped porkThis is the glorious pork after it was unwrapped:

Dixie's Kalua PorkMmmmm, can you smell it?

Shredded Kalua PorkLet’s get a little closer. How about now?

Dixie's Kalua PorkHere’s my plate. I didn’t know this would be part of a blog post, so I’m sorry if it’s not the best photo! We were just asked for the recipe by friends and thought I’d blog about it.

My Kalua Pork plateHere’s my husband’s plate:

His Kalua Pork plate

A few notes about banana leaves:

Fresh or frozen banana leaves can be found in Asian markets in the produce or freezer sections. Cut the leaves to the desired size and remove stiff veins or other tough areas. The leaves will be softer and easier to roll if you quickly pour boiling water over them before working with them, but it’s not required for this recipe. Also, frozen leaves may become soggy if thawed for more than five minutes.

Thanks for reading my blog! ENJOY!!

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