Passionate About Pork

New book with 120-plus, easy-to-follow recipes preparing pig as pasta, as sausage and even as dessert.


By Kevin Gillespie with David Joachim

Those of you who know of Lowell’s pork proclivities will know that this book has his name on it. Written by chef Kevin Gillespie, author of Fire in My Belly,  named a 2013 James Beard Award Finalist in the Cookbooks: American Cooking category, he is nationally known since becoming a finalist on Bravo TV’s Season 6 of Top Chef.

How do you like your pig? With pasta, as a sausage, Mexican, Vietnamese, Kansas City style or as  dessert? Do you crave candied bacon like we do? As the title states, there are 120-plus, easy-to-follow recipes from around the world. Recipes are organized by the cuts of pig as well as information on how to shop for pork, the differences between the breeds, and many “good to know” tidbits. Here is a Korean recipe to try:



If you’ve never eaten at a Korean barbecue restaurant, you gotta go. It’s fun. You grill your own strips of marinated meat, then add whatever spicy, sharp, and crunchy accompaniments you like. The requisite spread usually includes kimchi, pickles, chiles, and lettuce leaves to wrap it all up. Beef is most common but there are pork versions too, which I like better. To simplify the dish, I pan sear thin slices of pork shoulder and turn the accompaniments into a sort of slaw that you wrap up in the lettuce. You could brush a little hoisin in there before you roll it up, or squirt on some sriracha. Use whatever condiments you have or none.

1 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon Korean red chili powder (or Espelette pepper)

1 teaspoon mashed garlic

12 ounces paper-thin sliced boneless pork shoulder

¼ cup Duke’s mayonnaise

1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce

1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated, about 2 teaspoons

2 limes

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon sambal oelek, or more as desired

1 carrot

¼ small head cabbage, finely shredded, about 2 cups

4 scallions, root end trimmed, thinly sliced on the bias

8 butter or Bibb lettuce leaves, for serving

In a gallon-size, zip-top bag, combine the soy, sugar, sesame oil, chili powder, and garlic and smush to combine. Add the meat and smush around so all pieces are well coated. Squeeze out the air, zip the top shut, and marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature. The meat is so thin and the marinade so strong that a quick marinade is all this needs.

In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, chili sauce, ginger, 1 tablespoon lime juice, the salt, and the sambal oelek. Taste and add more sambal oelek if you like it spicy.

Grate the carrot on the largest hole of the box grater; you’ll get about 1 cup. Squeeze dry in a paper towel, then toss the carrot, cabbage, and half the scallions with the dressing to combine.

Heat a grill pan over high heat. Remove the meat from the marinade and discard the marinade. Working in batches, grill the meat in a single layer for 30 seconds, then flip and grill for another 30 seconds; it will shrink and get some good color and grill marks. The meat is so thin that it should cook through in this short amount of time. Transfer the meat to a plate and stack. Slice the meat crosswise into 1-inch slices.

Layer the meat and slaw on the lettuce leaves and garnish with the remaining scallions.

Good to Know: Look for thinly sliced pork shoulder at Korean markets. It’s pretty common. Or just ask your butcher to thinly slice some boneless pork shoulder for you. Call ahead, because they usually freeze the meat for a little while to make it easier to slice paper-thin. You could also do the same thing at home.

Reprinted with permission from Pure Pork Awesomeness: Totally Cookable Recipes from Around the World by Kevin Gillespie with David Joachim, Andrews McMeel Publishing


Korean Barbecued Pork Bulgogi

Photo by Angie Mosier

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