I love braising greens. Collard greens, chard, turnip greens, mustard greens. All of them are delicious and super nutritious!
Braising greens are called such because they are just that – a leafy green that you should braise. Think of them like a pot roast: first dry cook, then cook slowly over lower heat in liquid for a long time. This is exactly how you should treat braising greens.
But mostly I’m writing this post in response to some members of my family who have only ever had collard greens cooked a bit in olive oil and then decided they weren’t tasty. Cooked like that, they probably weren’t. To me, greens need to be cooked in a heavier fat – lard, bacon grease, fat back – to bring out their wonderful flavor.
So this recipe is something I came up with by accident. I am known to make large stock pots full of greens and then keep them in the fridge to serve along side the meat du jour. One day, when making up a batch, I told my dining companion that we were eating collard greens and pork. He said, why not put the pork in the collard greens. I thought about it and, well… why not? And so I did. And after a few more tries with the combination and a few tweaks “Pork and Greens” was born. It’s sort of like a stew, but not as much broth.
You can find the recipe below, but know that it isn’t an exact science. Have more pork than the recipe calls for? Add it in. No problem. Little more or less sausage? Fine. I cook this up in a stock pot and it will feed at least 4, more like 6, maybe even more if you don’t have an appetite as big as mine. Heh!
Pork and Greens Stew Photo Tutorial
(Printer friendly recipe below)
1 3-4lb Pork Roast, cubed – arm, shoulder, whatever. Better if it has fat on it.
1 pound ground pork sausage (plain, country or sage)
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
2 16oz bags frozen chopped greens OR 2-3 batches fresh greens, chopped.
- Choose greens from: turnip greens, chard, or collard greens. Mustard greens are not really the right flavor for this recipe. My favorite is either all turnip greens or half turnip, half chard. Collards are good, but in this recipe, used only when I can’t find the others.
- Update 7/20: I have recently tried a half chard, half kale combination. It was really good, and I highly recommend it.
1-2 tsp sage (1 if your sausage contains sage, 2 if it doesn’t)
2 cups homemade bone broth (If you don’t have homemade broth, store bought chicken broth can be substituted.)
salt & pepper
Bacon grease, lard, or a few slices of bacon
Step 1: In a large pot, melt 2 spoonfuls of bacon grease or lard over medium heat. If you don’t have bacon grease or lard in the house, you can chop up a few pieces of bacon and render them down in the pot like I did in the photo below. The bacon pieces will go well with the recipe.
Step 2: Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until you can smell it cooking.
Step 3: Add ground sausage and cook thoroughly, breaking it up into small pieces.
Step 4: Once cooked, add cubed pork roast and cook thoroughly.
Step 5: Once cooked, add greens and mix thoroughly, making sure fat is distributed evenly. Cover and cook about 5 minutes until greens brighten.
Step 6: Add broth, sage, salt and pepper.
Step 7: Cover and turn to high until liquid starts to boil.
Step 8: Turn back down to medium and cook covered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Step 9: After 45 minutes, uncover, stir and assess how much liquid is left in the pot. If you have enough liquid left that it looks soup-like (see photo below), cook for a few more minutes uncovered to cook off some of the extra.
Step 10: Once it looks stew-like, serve it up. Enjoy!