Beans and Greens
Source: Liza Shaw, Merigan Sub Shop
This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on January 30, 2016.
Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish
¾ pound black eyed peas, soaked overnight in cold water
2 bunches collard greens, stems sliced thinly cross-wise, leaves cut into 1-2 inch pieces
6 ounces pork fat (lard), divided
1 red onion, julienned
¼ cup cider vinegar, plus more for seasoning
½ teaspoon chile flakes, plus more for seasoning
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Cook the black eyed peas in a pot with enough water to cover by 4 inches, until tender. Season with a generous amount of salt (3 tablespoons or so) and leave them in the cooking liquid to cool, from 30 minutes to overnight.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Blanch the collard stems and greens for 1 minute, then shock in ice water. Using 2 ounces of the lard, cook the red onion in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until translucent. Add the vinegar and reduce almost completely. Add the chile flakes. Add the blanched stems and greens to the onion and cook over low heat until they reach the desired tenderness, adding water along the way, as needed, to keep the mixture moist (this should take no more than 20 minutes).
Meanwhile, heat another medium-large pot and sauté the garlic and bay leaves, without browning, in the remaining lard. Scoop some of the beans out of their cooking liquid into the bubbling lard/garlic/bay leaf mixture. Refry the beans, shaking the pan periodically, and adding the beans bit by bit until they are all incorporated. Set the cooking liquid aside.
Add the oregano to the beans and continue to cook until they become creamy and the fat is emulsified into the bean mixture, adding about a cup of the bean cooking liquid at a time. It’s fine if some of the beans break down. This step should take 5-10 minutes.
When the greens are tender and the beans are creamy, add the greens to the beans, mix well, and add more bean liquid if it needs to be juicier. Season to taste with more salt, chile flakes and/or cider vinegar, if needed.
To serve with the Mom Chops: put a generous spoonful of beans and greens on each plate. Top with the Mom Chops and gravy.