Pork Shank and Smoked Collard Greens
Lesson time 28:20 min
Mashama details the importance of hogs to the Southern communal experience and how cooking techniques developed to use every part of the animal. She shows you how to brine and braise pork shanks and how to smoke and sauté collard greens.
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Topics include: Brining and Braising · Smoked Collard Greens · Cleaning Your Greens · Cold Smoking · Braising Your Greens · Plating
- Pork is really a major part of Southern cooking. You think of bacon. You think of lard. You think of smoking whole pigs. Pork is really resilient. It's really forgiving. There's a lot of parts of the pork that you can save, you can smoke, you can use the fat. If you have a whole pig, usually it's raised by a few different families. It's hard for one family to eat the whole pig before it spoils. It's a very communal product. And I think when you think about Black cooking in America, you really think about big pork roasts. You know, there's a saying that we have called "high on the hog". So if you can eat the best parts of the pork, then you are doing well in life. Pork shanks of considered the ham hock. They're a fatty part of the pork ankle, which holds a lot of marrow which is really good for braising. And it holds a decent amount of meat, but it's a highly worked part of the body. And because this meat is so tough, braising is just a great technique for it. When you braise a piece of meat like this, you can incorporate different vegetables and starches to really fill out the meal. Right in front of me, I have some fresh pork shanks that have been skinned. And they're just a fresh piece of meat. You can see that there's a nice line of marrow right down the middle of the bone, and that's really great to emulsify into sauces. And next to it, we have a brined pork shank. And brining is a process where you emerge something into liquid that has salt, and it usually has aromatics in it. These have been brined for over 24 hours, and then they were pulled out of brine and set to dry in the refrigerator on a rack for another 24 hours. I want to show you what it looks like when it comes out of brine. Our technique of cooking this will be to sear it. And if we were to take it out of brine and put it immediately in the pan, it won't sear properly. It's too wet. The liquid around it will evaporate, and we won't really get a beautiful crusty outside. So drying it really will help facilitate a beautiful sear on it and a beautiful look to it, and help to really render some of this fat and skin that's on the outside of the shank. We are going to sear off this pork shank to begin our braise. I'm using a Dutch oven. You want to use a heavy bottomed vessel to really have an even distribution of heat, and to help to insulate all of the liquid that will accumulate inside of your Dutch oven. So this has been heating up, and we'll pour a little blended oil here to see how hot it is. And you want this to just about smoke and get it that hot, because this is such a large piece of meat by the time you get it in the pan it's immediately going to cool down. So you want the oil to start to smoke a little bit before you place in your pork. A great substitute for a blended oil if you don't have access to it is peanut oil. Canola oil is great. Corn oil is good. Vegetable oil also has a high smoking point. OK I think we're...
About the Instructor
Through her award-winning Savannah restaurant, The Grey, Chef Mashama Bailey has brought worldwide acclaim to the rich, layered traditions of African American Southern cooking. Now the James Beard Award–winning chef shows you traditional and reimagined techniques and recipes for nutritious, flavorful Southern dishes. From pork shank and collard greens to gumbo and grits, explore a world of history, texture, and taste.
Featured Masterclass Instructor
James Beard Award–winning chef Mashama Bailey teaches you techniques and recipes for nutritious, flavorful Southern dishes—from grits to gumbo.Explore the Class