April 22, 2014

Neck Bones & Rice

OK, I know a lot of you are going to have the same reaction to this that Husband did. Pork neck bones are very common here in the South. If you’re in other regions you might have a hard time finding them. You can ask your butcher or even just use button ribs or rip tips.

Husband:  Whatcha cooking?

Me:  Neck bones and rice.

Husband:  Oh, OK. It smells goo… Wait. What?

Me:  Neck bones and rice.

Husband:  WHY?

Me:   Because they had the most beautiful packs of them at the grocery store this morning and I just had to have them!

Husband:  WHY?

Me:  Because I grew up eating this and it’s delicious. And because I want to.

Husband:  WHY?

Me:  Get your behind out of my kitchen.

Husband:  I just don’t understand why anyone would cook a pot of bones. On purpose.

Me:  Because these bones make the most amazing stock which makes the most amazing rice and as a bonus you get to nibble on all the bones. It’s like eating rib tips.

Husband:  I’m not eating neck bones.

Me:  Good. More for me. And I wouldn't advise eating the bones anyway. Wouldn't want you to choke.

Once again I find myself laughing at what a mismatch Husband and I are. Bless his heart. Bless his Canadian, center cut with lots of ketchup, heart.

Growing up, we usually had this as a side dish to some other pork because there’s really not a ton of meat on the bones. But Lord Jesus, they make a good stock for rice. And y’all know I love me some rice. Sometimes Mama would throw a pack of country ribs in the stock too to supplement the amount of meat – in those cases, we would have it as a main dish.

And when I eat this, I have to have black-eyed peas (or crowder peas or field peas) and fresh sliced tomatoes. And throw some collard greens on the plate too? Man, dang!  My mouth’s watering just thinking about it!

Neck Bones & Rice
3-4 pounds pork neck bones
3 cups water
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 – 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice.

Heat a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Season neck bones with 1 teaspoon salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes then add them to the hot pot. Let the neck bones sear a few minutes then add water. It's OK if the water doesn't cover all the neck bones - they will cook down. Reduce heat to low, cover and slowly simmer for 2-3 hours.

Bring stock to a boil then add rice and remaining teaspoon of salt. Stir to ensure rice isn't sticking to the bottom, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through cook time.

Turn off heat, leaving pot on burner, and let rest, covered for 45 minutes before serving.

I usually douse mine with a few shots of hot sauce before eating.

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