Pork neck bones and pigs' feet are muscular and sinewy, but when cooked slowly, they are surprisingly succulent and rich in flavor. These inexpensive cuts often packed together and categorized as variety meats, and are staples in the southern states where they are served with collard greens, rice or hot buttermilk cornbread. Serve neck bones and pigs' feet with plenty of napkins because the sweet, juicy meat tends to be sticky.
Rinse the pigs feet and neck bones thoroughly, then pat them dry with paper towels. Season the meat with salt and pepper.
Cover the bottom of a Dutch oven or large, heavy pot with bacon drippings or cooking oil. Heat the oil and cook the neck bones and pigs' feet, turning occasionally, until they are brown on all sides.
Transfer the neck bones and feet to a plate. Chop onions and garlic and fry them in the hot oil until the vegetables are soft but not brown. You can also add chopped green bell peppers, if desired.
Return the neck bones and feet to the pot, then add enough liquid to cover the meat by about an inch. Although you can use water, beef and chicken broth add more flavor. You can also add apple cider, beer, wine or a can of crushed tomatoes.
Cover the pot and simmer the neck bones and feet on medium low for at least 2 to 3 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling off the bones.
Season the neck bones and feet with additional salt and pepper to taste, then serve.
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- The Deluxe Food Lover's Companion; Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst
- The African-American Heritage Cookbook; Carolyn Quick Tillery
- Growing Up Italian: A Book of Recipes and Memories; Anne Guarino
- 300 Low-Carb Slow Cooker Recipes; Dana Carpender
- Bon Appetit: Hominy and Pork Soup with Árbol Chile Sauce
- You can also cook neck bones and pigs feet in a slow cooker. Brown the neck bones and pigs feet in hot oil, then transfer them to a slow cooker and add liquid to cover. Cook on low for at least 7 to 8 hours.
M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.