Neck bones are the original “where’s the meat” dish! The emphasis for original soul food was never on a lot of meat, in fact it’s a cuisine with heavy emphasis on sides. Why? Well probably because meat was scarce! The slaves got the scraps, leftovers and parts that the people who owned them didn’t want. I think that’s why we have so many great soup, stew and casserole recipes because these dishes contained a little meat to season the dish but were filled with vegetables, beans, rice, potatoes etc.
Today modern soul food recipes are a lot heavier on the meats. Ribs, pork chops, meat loaf, fried chicken, roasts – etc., was not food that would have been available during slavery. Recently, I had a plate of neck bones and potatoes. I hadn’t eaten this dish in years and it was really good! It reminded me that southern/soul food originally didn’t rely heavily on a lot of meat. The dishes relied on flavor and fresh ingredients – farm to table was the way of life. Slaves ate what they grew and scavenged with a little bit of meat thrown in here and there when they could get it.
- 3 lbs. of pork neck bones
- 1 onion cut up
- 1 hot pepper cut up
- 4 stocks of celery cut up
- 1 c. diced sweet peppers (green, red and yellow)
- 3 lbs. peeled quartered potatoes
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- Put all ingredients except potatoes into a 6 quart stock pot. Cook over medium flame about 1½ hours. Add 3 lbs. of quartered potatoes. Cook another 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender and meat falls off the bone. Serve with corn bread and your choice of vegetable. Don't forget the hot sauce!