Our easy Braised Smothered Pork + Black-Eyed Peas is how we are ringing in the New Year. It’s 100% comfort food with a bit of luck thrown in for good measure. The National Pork Board sponsors this post; however, all content and photos are our own.
Braised Smothered Pork + Black-Eyed Peas
We are more than happy to accept our invitation “to the table” by the National Pork Board to participate in their Pork as a Passport campaign. Pork is an important food staple worldwide in various cultures on every continent and is used to create some of the best dishes! We represent Southern cooking at its best with our contribution of Braised Smothered Pork + Black-Eyed Peas.
Our New Year traditional dinner
So here we are! Pretty soon, the major holiday festivities will be a foregone conclusion, and we will be hurtling headlong into the new year. Never mind what we are going to do in the new year because right now, all I am thinking about is what we’re going to eat! As tradition would have it, we are dusting off a tried and true southern recipe and whipping up our Braised Smothered Pork + Black-Eyed Peas.
What Pork + Black-Eyed Peas represent for the new year
Now, I am all for upstaging tradition as long as you are going to replace it with something better. But at this moment, nothing can unseat pork and black-eyed peas as the official first meal of the new year. And if you’re a diehard traditionalist, I know you are adding collards greens to the menu. Collard greens symbolize greenbacks – that’s money for the uninitiated.
And, of course, slices of buttery cornbread because its golden-brown hue represents gold or wealth. The black-eyed peas represent coins—the pork, which was considered a luxury way back when denotes prosperity. So yes, this New Year is filled with a lot of symbolism.
Food is the connection.
This has been the year of connecting. With more time spent at home, we’ve prepared more meals and spent more time around the dining room table together as a family. According to a survey by The National Pork Board, it seems we were not the only ones doing this The research revealed strengthened family bonds and more time shared over meals during the pandemic— including both meal preparation and dinnertime itself, which is a positive thing! And while we look forward to resuming our “normal” life, we’re enjoying this downtime of family bonding and connecting in the kitchen.
Here Is What You Will Need To Make Our Braised Smothered Pork + Black-Eyed Peas:
Pork Shoulder. I use two packages of sliced bone-in pork shoulder, which totaled about five pounds of meat. I like using bone-in cuts because the meat has more flavor.
All-Purpose & Seasoning. I used flour and seasoning to coat each slice of pork for a three to four-minute quick-sear on both sides of the meat. I used garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, sea salt, and freshly cracked black peppercorns for seasoning.
Vegetables. I kept the veggies at a minimum for this easy recipe. I caramelized two onions and sautéed sliced celery, chopped garlic, and sliced cremini mushrooms.
All-Purpose Flour, Unsalted Butter, Buttermilk. And Chicken Stock. These are the ingredients I used to make a quick homemade buttermilk pan gravy. Since I knew I would be making gravy, I portioned out a half cup of the seasoned flour I used for the pork.
Braised Smothered Pork Shoulder Recipe
Cooking the vegetables
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 2 celery stalks, sliced thinly
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms; I used baby portobellos or cremini mushrooms.
- 5-6 cloves of garlic, peeled with the root stub removed and chopped.
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
Place a large skillet over med-high heat and add EVOO; when the oil is hot, add the butter and the sliced onions. Move the onions around until they are covered with the oil and butter mixture. Cook until the onions begin to brown, then add the celery, mushrooms, and garlic. Sauté the veggies for an additional three minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
How to cook the Pork
- 5 pounds sliced bone-in pork shoulder steaks, these range from 3/4″ to a 1″ thick. Before cooking bring the pork to room temperature. Ensure the pork has been patted dry using paper towels.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika or Old Bay
- 1 tablespoon of sea salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black peppercorns
Directions on searing the pork
- Into a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour with the seasonings.
- Dredge pork slices in the flour on both sides and shake off any excess flour.
- Place a large Dutch oven over med-high heat and add oil; when the oil is hot, sear the pork on both sides for about three minutes, add additional oil as needed. Place the seared pork onto a large platter.
Making homemade gravy
- 2 tablespoons bacon drippings
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose seasoned flour
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
Directions for making homemade gravy
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- After all of the pork is seared, reserve three tablespoons of pan drippings and discard the rest.
- Wipe out the pan and add 2 tablespoons of the reserved pan drippings.
- Place the Dutch oven back onto the heat and add the pan drippings when the oil is hot and add three tablespoons of unsalted butter; when the butter is melted, whisk in five tablespoons of the reserved seasoned flour. Continue to whisk until the roux is a dark tan color.
- Whisk in the chicken stock and continue to whisk until all lumps are removed; gradually whisk in the buttermilk or heavy cream.
- Continue to whisk until the gravy begins to thicken, add the sprigs of fresh rosemary, finish the gravy with a pinch of sea salt, freshly cracked black peppercorns, and two tablespoons of butter.
Bringing it all together
- Using a pair of tongs, add the slices of browned pork into the gravy any move them around to ensure each piece gets covered in gravy.
- Fold the vegetables over the pork, then place the lid onto the Dutch oven, and place the Dutch Oven on the center rack of 375° F for 30 minutes.
- Remove the Dutch Oven from the oven. Remove the lid and allow the meat to rest for ten minutes.
- Serve with black-eyed peas, long-grained rice, or potatoes.
Now that you have the recipe, let’s ring in the New Year with one of the best-smothered pork recipes you’ll find. And as always, if you have any questions or concerns, hit us up in the comments section down below.