About 60 lbs later (ugh!), I had mastered some excellent classic southern dishes and techniques, but needed to adjust them to lose the weight I needed to lose. (And, really, I had other serious issues that resulted from my wild eating habits, but that's another story for another time.) My diet tends to shift depending on my health needs at the time, and sometimes that means less fat and total calories, sometimes that means grain-free, etc. But for this dish, I just went with balance in all things. I use a roux to thicken this gravy, but cornstarch or xanthan gum would work just fine and would make this gluten free.
Of course, as with all of my recipes, this is a strictly cruelty free preparation, so any meats, eggs, or dairy that I use will be from pasture raised animals. The meats and eggs that I use EXCLUSIVELY come from 7th Heaven Farm because of the unparalleled quality of farmer Carla's treatment of the animals.
- 6 7th Heaven Farm Center-Cut Pork Chops
- 4 tbs 7th Heaven Farm bacon fat (or lard)
- 8 oz each of baby bella, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
- 1/4 c shallots, chopped, then divided
- 8 garlic cloves, minced and 2 tsp set aside
- 3 bay leaves
- 2-1/2 c homemade chicken stock (made from 7th Heaven Farm's chicken scraps and feet)
- 1/4 c heavy cream (opt'l)
- 2 tbs butter (opt'l)
- 10 small spring potatoes, halved or quartered to be about 1-1/2" pieces
- 3 large bunches of kale or collard greens, washed well and drained
- 1 7th Heaven Farm smoked ham hock
- 2 tbs organic flour
- Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Rinse and pat dry the pork chops. Salt liberally.
- In a large, heavy bottomed sauce pan or dutch oven, heat 1 tbs of cooking fat over medium high until shimmering. Sear the pork chops, in batches if needed, then remove and set aside.
- Over medium-high heat, add the additional 2 tbs of cooking fat, half of the shallots, and 2 tsp of garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes until they've browned some. Add in the flour and stir continuously about 2 minutes, until the flour is cooked. Don't let it burn!
- Pour 1-1/2 cups of cold chicken stock into the pan with the mushrooms and mix until it thickens up. Add 2 of the bay leaves. Turn off the heat. Add the pork chops and any jus that's collected while they were resting back into the pan, slather with gravy, and pop into the oven for 30-45 minutes.
- In pot large enough to fit all the greens, add in the remaining tbs of cooking fat, shallots, garlic, ham hock, and bay leaf. Cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the potatoes in a single layer and pour the remaining 1 c chicken stock over top of everything. Bring to a boil, then put all the greens on top, reduce heat to medium, and cover for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. At that point, remove the lid and let the liquid cook off a bit if necessary, and salt to taste.
- Remove the pork chops from the oven and stir in heavy cream and butter if desired. (This is actually a french finishing technique but it's really delicious and works well in this dish. You don't have to do it if you're very conscious of fat, but keep in mind that grass fed fats are a much healthier fat than the conventional fats typical of the standard American diet.)