Monday, April 20, 2015

Bo Ssam (ish)

My brother suggested I make a bo ssam for Easter dinner. Only he didn't really want bo ssam. He just wanted the pork butt. Bo ssam means "wrapped" or "packaged," so the real thing needs to be served with lettuce or cabbage leaves. But I didn't want to go through the trouble of washing and drying lettuce, so didn't even purchase it. Which is why this post has (ish) in the title. It's actually just Momofuku-style pork butt.

In any case, it was delicious. And it's amazing how much pork five people can put away. We decimated that thing in about 45 minutes. Sure, there was a giant Flintstonian bone in it, but we still managed to eat more than half the meat. Plus jarred kimchi and homemade brussels sprout kimchi and lots of rice. And dessert.


Bo Ssam (ish) (adapted from Momofuku)

1 whole bone-in pork butt (8 to 10 pounds)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
5 tablespoons brown sugar

Put the butt into a foil lined baking pan just large enough to hold it (it should fit snugly). Combine the white sugar and salt and rub it all over the pork butt. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Discard plastic wrap, make sure butt is skin-side-up in the pan, and roast for about 6 hours, until it's fork tender. Remove pork from the oven. The skin should be a crispy sheet at this point. Lift it; scrape out and discard any soft white fat still under the skin. Put the skin back down, schmear with the brown sugar, and put under the broiler until the sugar melts. Watch carefully so it doesn't burn. If it does, no worries - just scrape off the burnt parts. The skin will still be edible and have a nice caramelly flavor to it.

Serve with white rice and kimchi. Make some dipping sauces if you are so inclined. A combination of miso, gochujang, and sherry vinegar loosened up with a bit of oil is nice. And if you want to eat it properly, have some lettuce or napa cabbage leaves available in which to wrap a bit of pork, some skin, kimchi, and sauce.

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