A Bo Ssam Christmas

December 02, 2018

This is by far my most favorite time of year, and I love it even more when we host a Christmas party. This weekend we did just that with a Bo Ssam party. If you don't know what Bo Ssam is, I didn't know until last month and now I'm a BIG fan! It's a Korean dish of slow roasted pork shoulder and it's delicious. It's served with tasty and light Korean side dishes. I didn't get any pictures of the food but did get some pre-party pictures of the party set-up and the house decorated for Christmas. But I'm here to tell you that a Bo Ssam party is the way to go for a big buffet. It was fantastic in every way because:

It's economical.
It's super easy--(as in no possible way to fail).
It's easy to serve.
Your guests will love it.

Just about everyone went back for seconds and some for thirds. I think it's ideal for a big or small winter party as the meat slow roasts in the oven all day and warms the kitchen and makes the house smell heavenly. If you are thinking of what to make for your next gathering, make this! I promise you that you won't regret it. One of my girlfriends is going to make this for Christmas day and I'm going to make it again for New Years Day for my family.

This is not my picture, but this is what the meat looks like when you take it out of the oven.
Image credit: What's Gaby Cooking

Here's the link for a Bo Ssam pork shoulder recipe that originated with David Chang of Momofuku.  It was an absolute delight to serve this and every single guest asked for the recipe.

Some extra party details: 

-I was lucky and had some girlfriends to help me bring and serve food such as appetizers, dessert and sides. I do think you could tackle this on your own, just make sure that all your recipes are simple and do-ahead.

-We served only wine, champagne, and sparkling water. Our cocktail hour was a bit long at 1 1/2 hours, but we were celebrating a birthday and had toasts to make!

-I borrowed glasses and plates. I wouldn't mind renting, but I do have friends who are happy to loan    me things, so why not save money?

-We served two appetizers and had Nigella's Lemon Polenta Cake for dessert.

-We purchased ready made sauces.

-For 26 people I made three 8 lb. pork shoulders and used 3 cups of salt and 3 cups of sugar for the marinade. Don't freak out, that is only for the marinade and it is discarded before cooking. After marinating I didn't scrape off any of the sugar and salt that was still left on the meat. I didn't do the final step with brown sugar as my roasts were nicely browned and it was packed with flavor already. 

- I served it with butter lettuce cups, rice, and picked three Korean sides from this wonderful site, but I think two would have been enough.

-We had a buffet line and I had four friends help with serving: one passed out plates and one served the meat (and gave a little lesson explaining what it was and how to eat it); another friend served the vegetables; another friend helped serve and explain the sauces. I was at the end of the line to hand out a napkin and fork. This helped to speed up the process of feeding 26 people while the food was still hot!

-Just as the buffet line opened, I asked a few men to open up more bottles of wine and put them around tables.

-I had space at my dining and kitchen tables for sitting for only half the people. The rest sat on the sofas in the family room and living room, which is fine because it's easy to eat and no knife was needed.

-I engaged a few friends to gather the plates and put them in the sink, but I do my dishes after the guests leave.

See you soon with some knitting!

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  1. Sounds and looks so scrumptious. I like that you said you do dishes after guests leave. It seems rude to me to leave guests while the evening is still going strong, but many people do it. Always makes me feel like part of the clean-up crew. Chloe

    1. I admit to hating helping people clean up with I'm at a party (and as I'm writing it I know how selfish it must sounds. So knowing how I feel, we clean up after everyone leaves. I put on comfy shoes and an apron and it doesn't take too long. It only took two dishwasher loads and one washing machine load anyway! I hope if you do make the recipe you'll let me know how it goes.

  2. WOW, everthing looked so perfect, loved your decorations!

  3. This all looks so fabulous. I have done similar slow cooked pork and lamb dishes, but have not tried this particular one. It is now definitely on my list, so thank you. Your room looks gorgeous. I particularly love the Christmas plates you have - do you mind telling me what make /style they are?
    I also usually do dishes once my guests have left - on goes the apron, fill a glass, crank up the music and I'm done in no time!

    1. That sounds like us! Slippers on. Apron on. Music UP!!!! I wake up to a clean(ish) house! What lamb dish do you serve for a crowd? Do you mind sharing? The plates are the old standard Spode Christmas Tree. I have ten and my mother has ten. I asked a friend who has them too to bring six. We were set.

  4. Never did the fill a glass part - was afraid I would fall asleep. But with music it sounds so fun. Kristin I can think of several occasions down the road to make Bo Ssam and will love to tell you how it turns out. Chloe

  5. Ooh, I love the colours of the Knitted Wit! Some fab socks.



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