I know I've talked about the extended hours I work from time to time, but what's great about where I work... we may work hard, but we get to play hard too. For example - two years ago, a couple of the ladies there decided to do a Spring Break Luau. A lot of the people I work with are fresh out of college and it only seemed natural. So these wonderful ladies put a little luau lunch together for us. There were all kinds of decorations, we got to wear our Hawaiian gear, and let's not forget all the luau style food they had. The most memorable of that food was this Hawaiian pulled pork that one of my co-workers, Carol, made. It was AMAZING!! Since I'm always trying to find new recipes, I of course, asked her for this one. She told me and it sounded really simple and I thought, I should probably write this down, but like most things, by the time I got to my desk, I had already forgotten about it.
Flash forward to a few weeks ago... Carol shows up at work with her crock pot full of some uncooked pork. When I inquired as to what she was doing, she informed me that she was making her Hawaiian pulled pork as a way of saying sorry to some of her fellow co-workers who she felt she had wronged (don't worry, it wasn't anything serious, she just showed up for kitchen cleaning duty late). As soon as I heard her say Hawaiian, my mouth started watering and my stomach started growling... oh yes, we remember the pulled pork very, very well, don't we precious???? Lucky for me, there was a TON of it and Carol ended up offering it to everyone. Well, having it once before, I was not going to pass it up!! While we were eating, I asked Carol.. "so tell me what's in this again..... sugar? pineapple juice?" LOL Carol was like.. "WHAT? No there is nothing sweet in this!!" And what's crazy.. I don't know why I thought there was something sweet.. it doesn't even taste sweet. ANYWAY.. Long story shortened, I text Carol that evening, begged for the recipe and the next night I was making my own!! WOOT WOOT!! Thank you Carol, this is now my all time favorite dish!!!
I needed something to go along side the pork (besides the necessary rice and sweet roll that is) so I decided to make a traditional Hawaiian macaroni salad. Well, traditional mac salads are just pasta, grated onion and carrot, mayo, milk, sugar and salt and pepper... so I sort of stuck with it, but of course, had to jazz it up just a bit.
This is a MUST try for sure........ did I mention it's a MUST try??? :)
Hawaiian Pulled Pork with Macaroni Salad
Pork recipe courtesy Carol K.
Macaroni Salad recipe created by Jenn's Food Journey
For the Pork -
1 Pork Shoulder Roast (or pork picnic cut) -sorry, can't remember how much mine weighed, but it was the smallest of the ones in the grocery store
1 cup water
1/4 cup salt (I used kosher salt-but according to Carol, any salt will do)
1-2 teaspoon liquid smoke
Additional items to serve with pork -
1-2 cups cooked white rice
King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
For the Macaroni Salad -
8oz elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions, drained and thoroughly cooled
1/3 cup finely grated carrot (about 1 regular sized carrot)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons finely chopped dill pickles
1 hard boiled egg, roughly chopped
For the Pork - Place the pork (I had to cut mine into three pieces to fit properly) in a crock pot. In a measuring cup add the water, salt and liquid smoke; stirring until the salt has pretty much dissolved. Pour mixture over pork, cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4-5 hours .... OR.. until the pork pulls apart easily with a fork. Remove from crock pot and allow to cool a little before shredding. **Carol will skim the fat off the remaining water in the crock pot, add some flour to thicken it and serve. I just skimmed the fat and drizzled a little of it over the pork, but Chris left his dry - the pork is so good, you can seriously eat it with no sauce!**
For the macaroni salad - Place the cooled cooked pasta in a large serving bowl. Add the carrot, mayo, milk, sugar, salt and pepper; stir to combine. Fold in the pickles and egg. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
To make your mixed plate - start with some cooked rice and top with pork. Serve with macaroni salad and rolls.... and enjoy!! (and you will... TRUST me!!!)
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