Kwanzaa Culinarians

Recipes and Food Stories from the African Diaspora

Braised Pork Neck and Cabbage

Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, I had the pleasure of being surrounded by beautiful, melanin-rich people throughout my childhood. Through being part of a predominantly African-American community, I have long been privy to both the good and bad issues related to our community. One of the issues that I think about regularly is access to food and hunger. (It sort of fits in naturally with what I’ve chosen for my career.)

Braised Cabbage and Pork Neck Bones 2

Ujima stand for collective work and responsibility, which I interpret as making each other’s problems our own. In combining this with my desire to help feed those with less, I strive to create delicious recipes utilizing inexpensive ingredients so that they are accessible to many. In other words, trying to make a dollar outta fifteen cents.

Braised Cabbage and Pork Neck Bones 0

Yes, I will splurge on fancy ingredients every now and then, but that is certainly not the norm in my cooking. Something clicked for me earlier this year during a run-of-the-mill trip to the grocery store when I came across a package of neck bones for what couldn’t have been more than $2 a pound (and probably closer to $1). I’d never cooked with them before, but I knew that something delicious and comforting could be made. I combined it with a head of cabbage, braised it to coax out all of the wonderful flavors, and ended up with a lot of good tasting food for not a whole lot of money.

Braised Cabbage and Pork Neck Bones 1

Our people have a long history of making do with less. Though I’d love for us all to be on an even playing field, I also know that it is the responsibility of those of us with more—be it money, talent, or resources—to help those of us with less. Me using my culinary training to help teach people how to feed themselves well is just one way I try to embody Ujima.

Braised Pork Neck and Cabbage Recipe

From The Hungry Hutch

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons ground sage
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • kosher salt
  • 4 pounds pork neck bones
  • oil or bacon fat, for searing
  • one 2- to 3-pound cabbage, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 quart unsalted chicken stock
  • brown rice, for serving
  • hot sauce, for serving

Directions

  1. Combine the sage, pepper, garlic, and 2 tablespoons salt in a bowl; sprinkle evenly over the pork neck bones to coat. Heat some oil in a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. In batches, sear the pork in the oil on all sides until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set the pork aside.
  2. In the same pan, add the cabbage and onion and sprinkle with some salt. Cook the cabbage until wilted to about half the volume, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the seared pork, cabbage and onion mixture, and chicken stock to a large pot with a lid. Cover and place in a 325˚F oven until the meat is tender and falls off the bone, 1½ to 2 hours. Let the pork rest in the braising liquid until cool enough to handle and separate the meat from the bones. Discard the bones and add the meat back to the braising liquid and cabbage. Serve over rice with hot sauce on the side.

Braised Pork Neck and Cabbage Recipe, From "The Hungry Hutch"

About The Hungry Hutch

Aaron Hutcherson—a.k.a. "Hutch"—is the blogger behind The Hungry Hutch. It features a variety of savory and sweet recipes that are approachable and meant to be accessible to every cook. The dishes I create reflect a mix of my soul food upbringing, professional culinary expertise, and gastronomic curiosity.

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This entry was posted on December 28, 2017 by in 2017, Ujima and tagged , , , , .

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Learn more about Kwanzaa

The word "Kwanzaa" comes from the phrase, "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first-fruits." Kwanzaa's extra "a" evolved as a result of a particular history of the Organization Us. It was clone as an expression of African values in order to inspire the creativity of our children. In the early days of Us, there were seven children who each wanted to represent a letter of Kwanzaa. Since kwanza (first) has only six letters, we added an extra "a" to make it seven, thus creating "Kwanzaa." To learn more about Kwanzaa, visit the Official Kwanzaa Website.

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