In a nutshell, the Bo Ssäm recipe calls for an 8- to 10-pound pork shoulder that is rubbed all over with a cup each of white sugar and kosher salt. The roast is then covered in plastic wrap and placed overnight in the fridge. I spiced up the recipe by adding one teaspoon each of cayenne pepper and smoked paprika.
The next day, the pork is slow roasted at 300 degrees for about six hours, allowed to rest for an hour and then rubbed with seven tablespoons of brown sugar and one tablespoon of salt before placing it in a 500-degree oven to caramelize for about 10 minutes. The meat is then pulled apart, placed in Bibb lettuce wraps, drizzled with sauce and consumed. Spectacular!
Check out Susan Filson's article and Chang's recipe in the "Daily Loaf" at http://cltampa.com/dailyloaf/archives/20 (search by writer's name).
OK, so what's this have to do with my jaded and heat-infected palate, and how is it possible to match wine to spicy dishes? Granted, you could take the easy way out and pour yourself a cold one (which I have often done), but, hey, this is a wine blog, and anyway I believe wine offers a broader selection of liquid alternatives.
For the pork shoulder with two different spicy sauces, I actually paired the dish with an Alsatian gewürztraminer that was slightly sweet. The sweet, tart and flowery flavors of the gewürztraminer melded with and enhanced the salty and spicy pork dish. Look for Alsatian gewürztraminer from Trimbach, Pierre Sparr or Hugel.
You might also try Riesling or gewürztraminer from Washington state such as those produced by Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Valley or Pacific Rim.
Pinot noir and rosé are also good accompaniments to spicy foods. For the dinner, we opened a 2009 Concannon Central Coast Pinot Noir ($15) and a 2009 Crios Rose of Malbec ($14) from Argentina.
I also would suggest sparkling wines for heat-infused foods. I love the flavor and value of Spanish cavas such as Freixenet Cordon Negro ($11), Dibon Cava Brut ($12) or Segura Viudas Brut Reserva ($11).
So, the next time you need to feed 10 of your most rabid heat-seeking foodies, try the Bo Ssam recipe with a flagon or three of wine.
For more on the art and craft of wine, visit John Brown's Vines & Vittles blog at thegazz.com.