Thursday, January 14, 2010

Soul Food Tradition: Neckbones & Gravy

Living in the South I have had the opportunity to eat nearly every type of food, Cajun, Low Country, Mountain, and even had my share of Soul Food. Originally created by poor black families in the American South, it consisted of the cheaper cuts of meat and vegetables that barely fit into the vegetable category.

Most of the cuts of meat required long, slow cooking periods to get the meat tender enough to eat. Some of the staples are greens of all sorts, collards, mustard, and turnip greens to mention a few. Fried chicken, sweet potatoes, and macaroni and cheese are often found in the "trendy" Soul Food restaurant menus these days.

Neckbones are about the cheapest cut of meat available, .99 per pound for the ones I cooked. They are simply the meat around the neck of the hog. The bones infuse such a wonderful collagen into the gravy, which is also thickened with flour that's dusted on the neckbones. Cook these slow and serve them with rice or grits, or even smothered cabbage like I did. I am including the recipe so you can make your own. Some grocery stores might not carry them, look for ones with some good meat still left on the after trimming.

Bon Appetit

Neckbones & Gravy

4 lbs Pork Neckbones
2 cups Flour (plain)
2 med Onions (diced)
3 ribs Celery (chopped)
1 tbs Garlic (minced)
1 tbs Creole Spice Mix
1 tsp each Salt & Pepper
4 cups Water
2 tbs Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup Oil
1/2 stick Margarine

Sprinkle Creole Spices on the neckbones. Dredge in 1 1/2 cup of flour. In a cast iron Dutch Oven, melt margarine and combine with corn oil. Fry neckbones on MED until brown on the outside. Remove from pot and fry onions in remaining oil. After the onions start to brown, add celery and garlic. Stir well and cook 5 mins. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of flour over onion and celery mixture. Stir well and let it brown a bit with all the dregs of flavor in the pot.

Add salt, pepper, and worcestershire sauce, stir well. Add neckbones back to the pot, cover with 4 cups of water, add a little more if you need to nearly cover the bones. Leave open and bring to a boil and turn down to MED/LO for two hours stirring occaisionally. Stir, then place covered in a 225º oven for the remaining hour. Serve by spooning meat and gravy over rice or grits, accompanied with smothered cabbage and cornbread.



  1. This is something I've never had. But, you sure make it look and sound good. I bet they have them at my little bitty grocery store. When I moved to this town and saw chicken feet, I almost passed out! I wondered where on the planet I had moved to.....

    1. HAHA - I felt the same way when first encountering those lil feet. However,they're not bad in a boil, i.e. sliced lemons bay leaves onion garlic bell pepper celery parsley crab boil corn and new potatos

  2. Cooking it as I type!!! House smells wonderful and it looks DELICIOUS!! THANKS!


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