My Communal Table

Roasted Pork Shoulder with Mustard Ginger Sauce

It’s a celebration! My Communal Table is one year old. Wow! I have sure enjoyed sharing food and memories. So gather your friends around the table and serve them pork shoulder. I do not know who doesn’t like this meal. When I first saw David Chang of Momofuku on No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain, I have dreamed of Bo Ssam.

So I, of course, went to the internet and found Working Class Foodies video rendition of making Chang’s Bo Ssam. It was so fun to find someone else that had dreamed of having the exact same meal, but the odds of me getting to New York soon were far from likely. I created the meal exactly like the video and it was great, but my mind, as I was serving it, was already tweaking it to make it more my own.

When Chang serves Bo Ssam in his restaurant he serves the entire pork shoulder right on the table and serves rice, kim chi, sauces and lettuce leaves right along side it. You take the lettuce leave as your base, like a taco shell, and you put on pork, rice, sauce and eat away. I love the idea of everyone digging in around the table making your taco the way you like it. You can add more vegetable dishes, like a mushrooms or eggplant, to satisfy that particular guest that likes veggies more than meat. I know it is hard to imagine, but there are some people like that. Cracking the crust of the pork with your tongs then pulling at a huge slab of tender pork get that hunk of pork is just pretty darn fun and fulfilling.

The great thing about serving this to quests is that it can all be made ahead of time and you are not doing much work. My other favorite part of this meal is that it is super affordable to feed a crowd. I keep going back to it time and time again. The meal just calls for everyone to let down their stress of the day and have some good food and conversation. My kind of meal.

My version uses Chinese five spice and I make a great tangy sauce to compliment the sweet pork. When I entered this recipe in Food 52’s recipe contest during the week of Your Best Roasted Pork Recipe, I received Editor’s pick. Which is approximately the top eight of over a hundred recipes. I have been fortunate to receive several editor’s picks, but getting to be one of the two finalist of a category as still alluded me. Feeling like a bit like Susan Lucci in her quest for the Emmy, I will keep trying and pushing myself to take better pictures and write better recipes.

The mustard ginger sauce is really great on a lot of things. I will keep well in fridge after you make it. My friend, Dave, told me that I needed to bottle and sell the stuff. You decide. It is great and easy to make.

Serves 4-6

Roasted Pork Shoulder:
4-5 pounds pork shoulder
1 cup sugar
1 cup salt
3-4 tablespoons Chinese five spice
1/4 cup brown sugar

1.Combine sugar and salt, then spread over entire pork shoulder.

2.Cover with foil and place in fridge for 8-12 hours.

3.Pull from fridge and rinse off all the salt and sugar.

4.Pat dry and rub Chinese five spice all over roast.

5.Place pork in roasting pan and stick in an oven set at 300F for approximately 5 hours.

6.Pull out of oven and turn up oven to 500F.

7.Rub roast with brown sugar and stick back in oven.

8.Pull out roast when the sugar gets crusty and melty.

Mustard Ginger Sauce:
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3-6 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon sirracha
2 tablespoons ginger
2 gloves garlic
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil

1.Place everything except the sesame oil in a small sauce pan.

2.Start out with 3 T. of honey. Add more to lessen the pucker of the sauce. It tastes a lot different next to the richness of the pork. I like it both ways. 2 T. of ginger = 2 inch piece of the root. I just slice the ginger when I put in the pot.

3.Simmer over low heat for approximately 20 minutes. Adjust seasonings.

4.Strain through sieve while pouring into a serving dish.

5.Whisk sesame oil in to sauce.

6.Serve warm or room temp with the pork, but is good cold later.

I just want thank everyone for all the support and ideas. I certainly have learned a great deal this last year about myself as well as more about cooking. I am so looking forward to year to come as my oldest son, Andrew, moves to Chicago to attend culinary school. My nieces and a nephew will also be here by then and will lead to much inspiration and cooking for the crew. My table is full and will be more bountiful this coming year. Join me on the journey.

Pull up a chair, Elizabeth


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Super job, Elizabeth. I, for one, really enjoy being on this journey with you and thank you for inviting me along!

Comment by Carol

Hey, thanks! I am enjoying myself.

Comment by behindthechair

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