Photo: Alison Miksch; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller
Don't be intimidated by the length of the ingredient list for this thrifty Southern stew. The majority of the ingredients are used to make a fantastic stock that starts with a Southern classic: potlikker. Then we use loads of fresh, aromatic vegetables, herbs, and spices to round out the flavor. Serve the stew ladled over hot cooked rice, and sprinkle with the fresh herbs.
Makes 1 1/2 qt.
1. Remove and chop collard stems. Chop collard leaves. Insert 3 whole cloves in each onion half, and place onions, cut sides down, in hot oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add parsley stems, next 9 ingredients, and collard stems. Cook, stirring gently, 10 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Add 4 qt. water, and whisk in sugar, rice vinegar, and soy sauce; cook 1 minute, stirring to blend. Add ham hocks, chicken wings, and pork necks. Bring to a boil, skimming off foam. Reduce heat to low; simmer 3 hours or until ham hocks are tender and potlikker is rich in flavor, skimming as necessary.
2. Meanwhile, rinse and sort peas. Bring peas and water to cover to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Cook 2 minutes, skimming off foam. Drain peas.
3. Pour potlikker through a fine wire-mesh strainer into an 8-cup glass measuring cup, reserving hocks, chicken wings, and pork neck bones; discard remaining solids. Remove and chop meat from ham hocks, chicken wings, and pork neck bones; discard bones and skin.
4. Wipe Dutch oven clean, and return potlikker to Dutch oven. Add drained peas, chopped ham, chicken, pork, and collard leaves to potlikker. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes or until peas are just tender. Stir in sweet potatoes, and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until peas and sweet potatoes are tender. Stir in 2 tsp. kosher salt. Add freshly ground black pepper and hot sauce to taste. Adjust seasoning, if desired. Serve stew over hot cooked rice, and sprinkle with chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley and chopped fresh cilantro. Serve with hot sauce, if desired.