Monday, February 06, 2012

Someone needs a new barrette


mess of pig
After reading this story about Momofuku bo ssam -- slow cooked caramelized pork served with rice and various Korean condiments -- my friend Lisa and I got the idea to have a bo ssam party. Like half of America, apparently. I went on Facebook yesterday morning and saw a photograph of our Saturday night dinner in Marin County on the table of a friend who lives in New Jersey.

To order bo ssam at Momofuku in New York City costs $200, but it is something you can and should make at home because there is nothing cheaper than slow cooked pork shoulder, nothing tastier, nothing easier. I was napping an hour before Lisa arrived. It's that kind of meal. You brine the pork overnight in sugar and salt, then put it in the oven for 6 hours. For the first hour you'll think you're roasting the meat, but it throws off so much fat it ends up braising in its own "juices." Don't dwell on this. When the meat falls off the bone, it's done. Coat it in sugar, put it back in a super-hot oven for 10 minutes, and serve.
cooks
How delicious was the bo ssam? Very delicious. It's like Korean carnitas, but instead of mixing the pork with salsa and wrapping in a tortilla, you mix it with rice (or not) and fiery sauces (you may need to visit a Korean grocery), and wrap it in a lettuce leaf. It is fun to eat because every piece is different and tastes slightly different, whether it's a mild chunk of meat from the middle or a hard, sugary shard of crust. If I had to choose between Mexican carnitas and Korean "carnitas" I would choose Mexican, but it wouldn't be an easy decision.

Highly recommend.

Also recommended: Gold Rush cocktails, contributed by Lisa. They're spicy-tart-sweet and truly wonderful and we only drank one each so the repercussions were nil. For dessert, Isabel made compost cookies from Milk Bar. I only ate half a cookie so the repercussions of this were also hopefully nil.
cookie
The compost cookies spread a lot and didn't look quite right, but tasted very right. Recipe is here.

Bonus video: In an unflattering sweater, Mark Bittman watches Momofuku's David Chang make another version of bo ssam that looks even better than the one we served.

29 comments:

  1. This is on my "must make" list. Pork shoulder is my favorite use of pig. I like bacon just fine, but don't really understand the near-hysteria when there is braised, fall-off-the-bone pork to be had.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Is that a sweater or a t-shirt? Either way, WHY IS IT TUCKED?

    Properly cooked pork shoulder beats bacon any day.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The three of us are on the same page re: pork shoulder vs. bacon.
    Whatever he's wearing, it's a Glamour Don't.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Seoul had bo ssam and samgyepsol (basically uncured bacon) restaurants. The people in the samgyepsol restaurants were always drunker. I could also get on board with the Gold Rush even though the last time I had bourbon and ginger it didn't end well. We made the cornflake/marshmallow/choc chip cookies from milk bar. They didn't spread when I used the cookie sheet from the refrigerator they had been chilling on. The second batch spread too much like the compost cookies. Delicious either way.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I don't know, I think the weirdest part of that video is how Mark Bittman says he's going to Momofuku to get him some pork and then David Chang just eats it without even offering him any.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Did you refrigerate the compost cookie dough before baking? That helps it not spread. Also, they are terrific with marshmallows, pretzels, butterscotch & chocolate chips and potato chips :)

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