Weekly Winner: Seeing Summer Out With an Amazing Slab of Pig

IMG_0461.JPGIt just seemed fitting to celebrate Labor Day with throwing something on the grill.  After all, it is how we welcome in summer, how we cook most of the summer, and how we say goodby to it.  When in doubt, we tend to throw something on the grill.  And in this household, if you’re going to bother to fire up the grill, it’s a pretty safe bet that pork will be involved.

The only real question this Labor Day weekend was, what to grill?  Ribs are a safe bet.  Always tasty and always a hit.  For just the two of us, the go-to cut is bone-in pork chops (as has been well documented in this blog.)  But in both of those cases, there’s no adventure to it.  We’ve been there and we’ve done that again… and again… and again.

So for this Labor Day Eve when we found ourselves in need of a Sunday Supper and a suitable celebratory meal welcome in Labor Day, I thought it would be the perfect time to give this little number a try.  Gochujang Pork Shoulder Steaks.  The recipe comes from Bon Appetit and intrigued me for a number of reasons.  First of all: pork shoulder.  For my money it is the best part of my beloved pig (well, maybe bacon is, but I digress).   Secondly: Gochujang.  I have just recently discovered this wonderful sauce.  It is a Korean hot pepper paste and it is perfectly spiced.  Its got heat, but will not overwhelm.  It also has a gorgeous red color that turns everything it touches to a burnished red loveliness.

Now for a word on the two different photos.  The top one is the one from Bon Appetit.  That picture also had a lot to do with me pulling the recipe.  It is gorgeous.  The lower one was our final result.  Not as gorgeous, but dang, was it good!

Gochujang Pork Shoulder Steaks

Ingredients:

8 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

1 2” piece of ginger, peeled and sliced

½ cup dry sake

½ cup gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)

½ cup mirin

¼ cup vegetable oil, plus more for grilling

1 ½ lb skinless, boneless pork shoulder, sliced ¾” thick

Procedure:

Puree garlic, ginger, sake, gochujang, mirin and ¼ cup oil in a blender. Set ¼ cup marinade aside; chill. Transfer remaining marinade to a large dish. Add pork; turn to coat. Chill, turning occasionally, at least 2 hours.

Prepare grill for medium-high heat; oil grate. Remove pork from marinade and grill, basting with reserved marinade, turning occasionally, and moving pork to a cooler area if flare-up occurs, until cooked to desired doneness, 20 minutes for medium.

Transfer pork to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain.

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