How does this recipe come into being?
Inspiration is in itself a fascinating thing- I read this somewhere and I totally agree with it. What gets into us that make us do things, transforming the ordinary into fascinating; transforming in this case an everyday product into a delicious plate of food! This is what this recipe by Chef David Chang is about. This recipe is simple but perfect. When I first saw this dish in one of the food magazines I read and then in the New York Times I knew I had to make it. The dish I am talking about is Chef Chang’s, Bo Ssam straightforward roasted pork.
The pork is simply cured with a rub of salt and sugar and then cooked slowly in an oven for a number of hours until the whole thing collapses.
I made the original recipe two months ago and we could not have had enough. It was crazily delicious to the point that I had to make it again. Only this time I decided to play around with the sugar and salt mixture and added to the mixture ground dry sage, garlic, onion, cumin, laurel, dry rosemary and lemon zest.
The first time I made this roast I served it as tacos with white rice, butter lettuce which we used to make the tacos wraps and Chef Chang’s scallion sauce and a soy-sesame sauce.
This time I served it with moro (a bean and rice cooked together with added herbs), butter lettuce, pico de gallo, mango salsa and David Chang’s ginger and scallion sauce. Here are the recipes for my version of Chef Chang’s roast, pico de gallo, mango salsa and scallion sauce.
- For the pork:
- 1 pork shoulder, 11-12 lbs.
- 1 cup white or light brown sugar
- 1 cup kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper, rosemary, laurel leaves, oregano or thyme, cumin, dry sage and lemon zest (all optional)
- 1 cup cool water
- For the pico de gallo salsas:
- 4 fresh tomatoes, peeled
- ½ cilantro leaves, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 onion, diced (emincer)
- 2 jalapeños, diced and seeded
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper
- For Mango Salsa:
- 1-2 mangos, diced
- 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- Pinch of cumin
- Juice of1 lime
- Salt and black pepper
- Ginger and scallion sauce:
- 2 cups thinly sliced scallions, both green and white parts
- 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- ¼ cup grapeseed oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or lime
- Salt to taste
Rinse and clean the pork shoulder then dry it with paper towels. If used, mix together sugar, salt and dry ingredients. Place the pork shoulder in a big bowl and rub the sugar-salt mixture all over the meat. Cover the meat and place in the refrigerator overnight.
Take the pork out of the refrigerator an hour before roasting it. Discard all of the liquid released and place the pork in a roasting pan and add 1 cup of cool water in the bottom of pan. Heat the oven to 300 – 325 F (150-170 C) and cook the pork for about 6 hours or until the meat pull of the bone easily. (See Chef Chang’s variation, I did not add the extra sugar neither I cook it further) allow the meat to rest before serving it.
While meat cooks make the salsas.
For the pico de gallo:
Blanch the tomatoes for a few minutes and then peel them off. Dice the tomatoes and place in a bowl; continues by adding all the remaining ingredients. Mix well and taste. Adjust salt if needed.
For the mango salsa:
In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
For the ginger-scallion sauce:
In a bowl, combine the scallions with all the listed ingredients and mix well. Season with more salt if needed; sometimes I add a little bit of sesame oil for an intense Asian flavor. Enjoy!
This post is also available in: Spanish