This simple, hearty recipe is a perfect side for pork. The Irish call it calcannon, but you don’t have to.
For two servings, use one large starchy potato (russet) to a packed cup of raw, chopped kale. Cut potatoes into chunks, boil vigorously until very soft, and whip with milk and butter. These don’t have to be perfectly smooth; in fact, they’re better a little lumpy, if you ask me (and I know you didn’t).
Stew greens, drain, and toss with a melted butter. Mix potatoes and kale; season with salt and white pepper. Some people cook green onions with the kale, but they’re better as a garnish.
You can thin this basic recipe with milk or broth to make a soup, or you can spoon it into a casserole and bake with crumbled bacon and some type of dry cheese.
Ham is the quintessential meat of the Southern table, either as main dish, or providing support in dozens of sides across the board.
But as a great many of those smart-ass hillbillies from Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky–the absolute worst–will tell you (in annoyingly nasal, condescendingly reverential tones), there are hams, and then there are hams.
The best hams are dry cured, usually with a mix of salt and sugar. These hams can be eaten very thinly sliced without cooking, but they need to be soaked in water for at least a day if baked for the table. These are often labeled country hams. So-called city hams, the kind you most often find in the supermarket, are wet-cured by brine injection. Smoked hams are usually a variant of both, with smoke and brine both providing preservation and flavor.
Then you have the green ham, which is what your old granny called a leg of pork. You’ll find it sold as a “fresh” ham. You may have to look for it, you may even have to order one, but a green ham is no more trouble than any other kind, and it’s a worthy option to the nitrate-infused clubs of meat you’ve been serving all these years.
A green ham will have a rind over a layer of fat. Score the rind in a tight crisscross pattern with a very sharp knife (honest to God, I use a box cutter), and coat with garlic, sage, a little brown sugar, coarsely-ground pepper, and sea salt. Put sprigs of rosemary and coarsely chopped white onions in the bottom of your roaster with enough water to cover. Set the ham fatty side up on a rack.
Place in a hot oven, 450. After thirty minutes, lower to 350. For a ten-pound ham, give it three hours or until that little bone next to the big one wiggles freely. Let sit for at least an hour before carving.
Best made the night before. Beat well three whole eggs, combine with a cup of Coleman’s dry mustard, a cup of herb vinegar and a half cup of light brown sugar. Cook over low heat until thickened, cool, and refrigerate. This sauce is good with any smoked meat.