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Smothered pork chops with grits and mustard greens

Catfish CourtbouillonWarning:
This photo doesn’t do it justice. I’ll have to cook it again soon to get a better pic.

Normally when I smother pork chops and cook up a mess of mustard greens, it's to be enjoyed with rice and gravy or skillet cornbread. But in this instance, I wanted to switch things up a bit and decided to go with grits. This dish would be good over rice, too, but there's something about that rich, brown gravy over grits (think grits and grillades), that really makes it special.

The Smothered Pork Chops

2 thick cut pork chops
1 extra thick slice of bacon, diced
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced bell peppers
1/2 clove garlic, minced
Water, as needed
Cajun seasoning (I always keep Tony Chachere's on hand)


In a large skillet (I use a black cast-iron, but any heavy skillet will do), cook the bacon until about 3/4 of its fat is rendered, then add the pork chops (seasoned with Cajun seasoning) and brown them well on both sides while continuing to cook the bacon. Once the chops are brown, add the onion and bell pepper and cook until onions are translucent (about 5 minutes), stirring often. Add the garlic and continue to stir for about 30 seconds, then add water (enough to cover the bottom and make a good amount of braising liquid/gravy, but not enough to cover the pork chops). Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for about an hour or until pork chops are fork tender. When done, remove pork chops (tent them in foil to keep them warm) and let the sauce that has accumulated cook down a bit. To finish the sauce, add a heaping tablespoon of butter and stir. (If the sauce is still too thin, you can add a slurry of water and cornstarch to thicken it.)


The Grits

I used stone ground grits and cooked them according to the recipe on the package. But here's something I did to kick them up a notch: My grits were ready before the pork chops and greens, so to keep them hot and at a good consistency, I continued to cook them over a very low heat and stirred in a couple of tablespoons of half and half every 5 minutes or so to keep them from clumping.

The Mustard Greens

A bunch of mustard greens, cleaned and chopped
2 slices of extra thick bacon, diced
1/4 onion, minced
chicken stock or water
pinch of sugar* (*this is optional, and I didn't add any because the bacon I used was a maple black pepper crusted bacon that had a little sweetness to it.)

Cook the bacon until most of the fat is rendered, then add the onions and sauté it all until onions are translucent and bacon is cooked. Add mustard greens, salt, pepper, sugar* and about a half cup of stock or water. Cook down the greens for about an hour, adding stock/water as needed to keep a little liquid in the bottom of the pan at all times, but not enough to completely cover the greens.


Bon appétit!

Scott Long







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