Secret Cut at Ssäm Bar

I'm less of a pork fanatic than most of the people I know. Still, my favorite restaurant these days is Momofuku Ssäm Bar in Manhattan’s East Village, where it's hard to find even a vegetable dish that's not studded with bacon or ham; when chef/owner David Chang was featured in a recent New York magazine story, he was pictured cradling a whole (dead) pig. So when Dan Philips, the man behind everyone's favorite Christmas present, the Bacon of the Month Club, was in town recently, there was only one place to go. It's very frustrating to eat at Ssäm Bar with less than 10 people because you can't in good conscience order the outstanding Bo Ssäm, which is a humongous caramelized pork shoulder that comes with a tableful of accompaniments. Still, Dan and I devoured the inspired country ham tasting (the sine qua non was Benton's smoky ham from Tennessee) and, of course, the succulent roast pork-belly buns. Eventually, David Chang sat down with us. As one would imagine, the level of conversation pork-wise was ridiculously high as David and Dan began to plan the ultimate road trip through pig country in the South. And then David began telling us about new cuts of pork from new breeds of pig that he’s about to get his hands on, including the amazingly alluring-sounding Secret Cut. What is the Secret Cut? When can you taste it? More on that next post.

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