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Braised Pork with Slow-Cooked Collards, Grits, and Tomato Gravy

Photo: Caleb Chancey, Brian Woodcock; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl
Hands-on time 40 mins
Total time 2 hrs, 40 mins
Yield Serves 4 (serving size: about 3 ounces pork, 1/2 cup greens, 1/2 cup grits, and 1/4 cup gravy)
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. 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 (20-ounce) boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), trimmed (about 1 pound trimmed)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 2 cups no-salt-added chicken stock, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cups vertically sliced onion (about 1/2 large)
  • 8 cups chopped trimmed collard greens
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 (28.5-ounce) can no-salt-added whole tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 ounce chopped cremini mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits

Nutrition Information

  • calories 454
  • fat 24.8 g
  • satfat 7.4 g
  • monofat 11.5 g
  • polyfat 3.5 g
  • protein 27.3 g
  • carbohydrate 30.9 g
  • fiber 4.7 g
  • cholesterol 89 mg
  • iron 3.1 mg
  • sodium 771 mg
  • calcium 151 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 325°.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

  5. 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.