The greens can simmer while the pork cooks (they can be done ahead and reheated). Start the grits and gravy around the same time; you don't want the grits to sit or they'll get too firm. You'll use the liquid from a can of tomatoes for the gravy here, then reserve the tomatoes for Spinach and Onion Pizza.
Heat a medium ovenproof saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil; swirl to coat. Sprinkle pork with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add pork to pan; cook for 8 minutes, browning on all sides. Discard oil from pan. Add 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup stock, and soy sauce. Cover and bake at 325° for 2 hours or until very tender. Remove pork from pan; reserve liquid. Place pork on a cutting board; cover with foil. Let stand 10 minutes; cut into 4 slices.
While pork cooks, heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil; swirl to coat. Add sliced onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 2 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup stock, greens, and sugar. Bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
Remove 1 cup tomato liquid from can; reserve remaining liquid and tomatoes for another use. Combine 1 cup tomato liquid and flour in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour pork cooking liquid into bag; let stand for 5 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain liquid into tomato mixture, stopping before fat layer reaches the opening; discard fat. Return the pan to medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chopped onion and mushrooms; sauté for 2 minutes. Add tomato mixture to saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1 cup (about 10 minutes).
While gravy cooks, bring remaining 1 cup water, 1 cup stock, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and garlic to a boil in a medium saucepan. Gradually add grits, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently. Serve grits with gravy, pork, and greens.
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My southern raised husband loved this recipe. It is a healthy take on a classic dish. The only change I made was to transfer the pork to my crockpot after braising it so as not to use my oven (it is summer and I live in Florida). Also, I added Garlic powder to the pork to add flavor. I particularly enjoyed the tomato gravy over the grits. Very flavorful and yummy.
Was hesitant to try, but we all ended up loving this recipe! Even my 4 year old enjoyed it:) We ended up making it two weeks in a row. Also love that it shares ingredients with the onion/spinach pizza and the dal, great combo to knock out three meals in a week. It takes a substantial amount of time, but is sooooo worth it!
This recipe is a lot of work and results were uneven - the pork is very tender and the collards are delicious (in fact I have made them several times again already and they are consistently good), but we just didn't love the gravy and found the whole thing a bit heavy overall. We entertain frequently and I served this for company. Several guests complemented the pork, all loved the collards, but personally I wouldn't make this again due to the effort vs. return ratio.
This recipe took a lot of work, so I planned it for the weekend. It was worth the work. The pork fell apart when I took it out of the pan. The sugar in the collards cut their bitterness and made them delicious! I didn't have grits so I used polenta, but the garlic provided a great texture and a wonderful flavor. Now...let's talk about this gravy: HEAVEN.
I'm a UK reviewer, and so I had to substitute a lot of the ingredients. We don't have pork butt here, but a similar cut is pork collar, so I used that. The joint needed is actually very small, which is handy because that's the sort of size I usually buy. Instead of collards, I cooked spinach, and instead of grits, we had polenta.
The tomato gravy was incredibly delicious - even if you're not making the spinach pizza, you can drain the tomatoes and use them for a pasta sauce or something similar. The pork was tender but took an extra half hour. The spinach really didn't need as long to cook as the collards, and obviously didn't make as much as it's a much softer leaf. The polenta was lovely with it, but slowed me down because the grits don't take anywhere near as long to cook, so everything had to wait until the polenta was done!
All in all, this was a very unusual, and refreshing dish, which was totally delicious. I thought the serving sizes might be too small, but it was perfect.