I’ve never really understood the appeal of ranch dressing. I guess it must be an American thing, but I’ve just never really been wow’ed by it. Sure, it’s tangy and creamy, but ranch has never been at the top of my dressing list. The thing with me and ranch dressing is that I’m not sure what to eat it with. It seems a bit heavy for salad dressing, and like with oysters I prefer raw vegetables naked.
Chang’s Ramp Ranch Dressing recipe calls for ramps. I’ve never seen ramps in Vancouver, and as it usually goes with Momofuku ingredients, my ramp search turned up nothing. Based on my indifference for ranch, I didn’t search too hard, especially since Chang says that if you can’t find ramps you can substitute store-bought picked pearl onions, which is just what I did.
To make the Ramp Ranch Dressing, you combine buttermilk, lemon, ramps (pickled onions), scallions, and kewpie mayo. It shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did: the dressing tasted just like ranch! I never knew you could make the signature ranch taste with so few ingredients. It was creamy, tangy and extremely fresh and refreshing. I couldn’t stop dipping my fingers into the dressing for another taste.
The ranch dressing tasted fabulous on the pork shoulder steak. The creamy, tangy, smoothness of the dressing went fantastically with the smoky, charred pork.
The pork in this dish is pork shoulder steak. I’ve never heard of this cut of meat before; basically they’re steaks cut from pork shoulder. They’re supposed to be like pork chops, but better because they have more fat marbled throughout.
They didn’t have any shoulder steaks at the butcher so I bought a chunk of shoulder and cut them into “steaks.” This probably wasn’t what Chang had in mind when he put this recipe in the book. He talks about Bev Eggleston’s pork, which is supposed to be “magic.” My pork wasn’t magic. Though it tasted alright, it wasn’t so fantastic that I’ll be making this again. I ever have the chance, I definitely want to try Eggleston’s magical pork.
Regardless of the pork however, I learned something else. Ranch, I was wrong about you.