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Pork Neck Bones with Gravy

| September 8, 2014 | 25 Comments

Pork Neck Bones, as seen on Taste of Southern.
Follow our easy, step-by-step, photo illustrated recipe to make this old Southern Pork Neck Bones with Gravy recipe. It’s called “soul-food” for a reason, it’ll warm up your insides. We’ll show you how to prepare the neck bones, cook them, then make a big old pan of gravy to go along with it. Printable recipe included.

 

Pork Neck Bones, slider.
Pork Neck Bones with Gravy Recipe:

 

Pork neck bones are often an over looked item in the grocery store, that is, IF your favorite store even carries them at all.

Admit it, if you’ve seen them, you’ve probably looked at the package and wondered, “what would I do with these?” Have you ever tried them?

They use to be one of the really cheap packages of meat in the meat counter, but now, like everything else, their prices are going up. I paid $1.99 per pound for the package I purchased to cook for this recipe. Not a bad buy, but I remember when ground beef went on sale about every week for .69 and .79 cents per pound. I must be getting old.

Pork Neck Bones with Gravy is a really old Southern favorite. Still, many folks liken it to eating pigs feet and stay away from it. What… you’ve never had pickled pigs feet either? Where have you been eating all your life? (Smile)

Often referred to as “Soul Food,” it’s just neck bones around these parts. You have “regular” and you have “smoked.” We’re using the regular neck bones, meaning they are fresh and not smoked. The smoked neck bones are often used as seasoning, much like a ham hock. They can be prepared several ways. We’ll have to do another recipe soon and barbecue some in the oven for you.

Before we continue with the recipe, let me tell you how I came to cook this.

 

Pork Neck Bones, grilling team at competition.
Back in early May, my brother and I stopped by a BBQ Cook Off being held over in Durham, North Carolina. One of my brothers pig cooker customers (Greg) was competing, and we stopped by to check out all that was going on.

About 20 teams had setup to cook pig that day. We stopped by to speak to Greg first, then made our way around to the other teams to sample some of their goodies. Each team had prepared ribs and butts for the competition, and they were all handing out samples. Doesn’t get much better than that, now does it?

Once the teams had turned in their plates for judging, they were allowed to sell plates of their own, and that kept the crowd coming in most of the day. We ended up staying for about 3 hours ourselves, hanging out at Greg’s tent with his team, and just talking barbecue.

Having sampled a good amount of pork, I looked for a shady spot to sit down and rest a bit. I settled down in the open door of Greg’s trailer, and just observed all the work everyone else was doing.

Before long, a lady came over to the trailer and said she was going to join me for a bit in the shade. It was a bit hot that day in the open sun, so I welcomed her to my spot. She pulled up one of Greg’s lawn chairs and sat down.

 

Pork Neck Bones, Cherry shared her recipe.
Turns out, she was related to Greg’s wife, and was there to help cheer him on in the competition.

We immediately started talking about barbecue, and then other foods, and I think we found a mutual chord between us, because we talked about food for a long time… sitting in the shade watching everyone else work.

She introduced herself as “Cherry,” as I handed her one of my Taste of Southern business cards. Seems she works for Duke Medicine in the Administrative Systems area.

When I got around to asking her the question I now ask just about everybody, she answered pretty quick. I’ve developed a habit now of asking people I meet, “what one item do you cook that most everyone says is the very best they’ve ever had.”

Cherry said, “pork neck bones.”

Long story short, I asked for the recipe and she agreed to share it with me. I took a few notes on the back of a napkin while we sat and talked, and she described the process pretty clearly.

Cherry was born near Conway, South Carolina. Her mother provided and raised her, and her 3 brothers, after her father passed away. The family moved to Durham when she was 8. Cherry says she was always “underfoot” around her mother in the kitchen, and that she learned by watching her mother cook. She says she can pretty much just taste something and then duplicate it herself.

Cherry remembers having neck bones, beef roast, chicken and turkey growing up. Her mother couldn’t always afford the best cuts of meat, but Cherry says they always had meat on the table. God was good.

As of this writing, her mother is 87 years young, and still cooks. Cherry says the family still gets together on Friday and Sundays, with Cherry now cooking the meats for the meal, and her mother preparing the vegetables. What a blessing that is.

So, scroll on down and take a look at this recipe, courtesy of Cherry. I think you’ll enjoy it, and if you’ve never tried cooking pork neck bones, this is a good way to start. Just let us know how you like it in the Comments section below.

My thanks to Cherry for sharing the recipe. I’m happy to call her a friend, and hope she’ll share another recipe or two with us in the future. If you’re ready to get in the kitchen, grab some neck bones, and… Let’s Get Cooking!

 

Pork Neck Bones, ingredients.
Pork Neck Bones with Gravy: You’ll need these ingredients. PLUS, you’ll need one medium Onion.

I think the Onion that I had was still getting ready when I snapped this photo. It should show up in a minute though. I hope.

 

Pork Neck Bones, rinse well.
To begin, clean the pieces of neck bone under cold running water really good. You might want to do this in a colander so you aren’t sending small pieces of meat down the drain. Either way, rinse the pieces under the water, removing any loose particles or blood that might be on it.

 

Pork Neck Bones, remove the fat.
Remove any excess fat and cartilage that you might see. The piece the arrow is pointing to came out of that opening you see in the neck bone. I used a small knife to remove it. Just be careful that you don’t let the knife slip into a finger. Removing as much of this “stuff” as you can, will help keep the finished product from being really greasy. A little extra effort at this point, will pay off later.

 

Pork Neck Bones, remove the veins.
Depending on how well the bones were cleaned before packaging, you might not have to remove much. Here’s another section of fat and pieces that we don’t need. Meat and bones are what you’re looking to keep, so cut away anything other than that and toss it.

 

Pork Neck Bones, rinsed and ready.
Give it all a final rinse under cold running water, then let it drain. Looks much better now huh?

 

Pork Neck Bones, add pepper flakes.
Place the neck bones in a large sauce pot. Add the Red Pepper Flakes.

 

Pork Neck Bones, add salt.
Add the Salt.

 

Pork Neck Bones, add black pepper.
Add the Black Pepper.

 

Pork Neck Bones, dice the onion.
Well, the onion finally showed up. It appears she had been crying… wait… that was me. (Smile)

Dice the onion.

 

Pork Neck Bones, add the onions.
Add the Onions to the pot.

 

Pork Neck Bones, add water.
Cover the neck bones with about an inch or two of water.

Place the stock pot over Medium-high heat on your stove top, and let it come to a boil.

 

Pork Neck Bones, boil.
Let the mixture boil for about 15 minutes uncovered.

 

Pork Neck Bones, skim off any foam.
Using a large spoon, skim away any foam that forms. You don’t have to get it all, just most of it.

Some folks will boil the meat without seasonings first for about 30-45 minutes, then dump that water and add fresh. Once it returns to a boil, then they add the seasonings and let it cook on out. Guess it works about the same either way.

 

Pork Neck Bones, cover and simmer.
After you skim away the foam, REDUCE the heat.

Cover the pot with a lid, and let it simmer on about Medium heat until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender. This will take about an hour to an hour and a half.

 

Pork Neck Bones, cook until tender.
Just keep a watch on it to make sure the liquid doesn’t boil away. With the pot covered, you should be okay and not need to add more water. Test the meat with a fork, until it pulls easily away from the bone.

 

Pork Neck Bones, reserve a cup of the liquid.
When the meat is fully cooked, turn off the heat.

REMOVE one cup of the liquid from the pot, RESERVING it for the gravy. Let it cool a bit.

Either remove the cooked neck bones from the stock pot, or just let them sit in the remaining liquid while you make the gravy if you intend to serve them right away.

 

Pork Neck Bones, add butter.
To Make The Gravy:

I prefer to make gravy in my cast iron skillet. Place the skillet on the stove top and turn the heat up to about Medium-Low or slightly warmer. I think you’ll have better results with your gravy if the skillet isn’t too hot, and you don’t try to rush it.

Add the Butter to the skillet once it’s warmed. I also added about a teaspoon of Bacon Grease for a little added flavor. Personal choice, and not required.

 

Pork Neck Bones, add flour.
Once the butter has melted, sprinkle the flour all around the inside of the pan on top of the butter.

 

Pork Neck Bones, stir.
Quickly stir the flour and the butter together to make a roux. The flour will absorb the butter, and the mixture will start to thicken.

 

Pork Neck Bones, cook and let brown.
The flour needs to cook for at least a minute to lose it’s “floury” taste. Continue to stir it and let it brown. The longer the flour and butter cook together, the darker it will get, and the darker your finished gravy will be. If you keep this on a lower heat, it will be much easier to work with from my experience.

 

Pork Neck Bones, add liquid.
Start stirring the flour and butter as you gradually add in the reserved liquid. My other hand might have been on the camera at that particular moment. Just saying.

 

Pork Neck Bones, stir until thickened.
Keep stirring the gravy, letting it cook and thicken as desired. It will thicken a bit more once removed from heat, so keep that in mind as you’re letting it cook. You’ll also want to taste it at this point to see if it needs any salt or black pepper. Add it according to your taste.

Pour the finished gravy into a serving bowl, and keep warm until ready to serve.

 

Pork Neck Bones, enjoy
Serve the neck bones over a big scoop of rice, and top it off with some of your homemade gravy.

Enjoy!

 

Pork Neck Bones with Gravy

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Yield: 4 Servings

Pork Neck Bones with Gravy

Follow our easy, step-by-step, photo illustrated recipe to make this old Southern Pork Neck Bones with Gravy recipe. It's called "soul-food" for a reason, it'll warm up your insides. We'll show you how to prepare the neck bones, cook them, then make a big old pan of gravy to go along with it.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 lbs. Fresh Pork Neck Bones
  • 1 Onion, medium size, diced
  • 1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Black Pepper

Instructions

  1. Wash the neck bones under cold running water.
  2. Trim away any gristle, small bones, or fat that you can see.
  3. Place washed neck bones in a large size sauce pot.
  4. Add red pepper flakes.
  5. Add salt
  6. Add black pepper.
  7. Add diced onions.
  8. Cover with about 2 inches of water.
  9. Place pot over medium-high heat on your stove top.
  10. Bring to a boil, and let boil about 15 minutes. Skim off any foam if it forms, discard.
  11. Reduce heat to medium simmer.
  12. Cover the pot, let cook until meat is tender. About 1 to 1½ hours.
  13. Neck bones are done when meat reaches the fall off the bone stage.
  14. Remove the cooked neck bones from liquid, cover, set aside.
  15. Measure out 1 cup of liquid to make gravy, if desired.
  16. To Make Gravy:
  17. Place 2 Tablespoons Butter, and 1 Tablespoon Bacon Grease in a large skillet, let melt.
  18. Add 3 Tablespoons of All-Purpose Flour, stir constantly.
  19. Continue to stir and let flour brown to desired color. The longer it cooks, the darker it will get.
  20. Add the 1 cup of reserved stock from the cooking pot. Stir constantly.
  21. Let mixture simmer until it slightly thickens.
  22. Pour gravy over rice and neck bones.
  23. Enjoy!

Notes

Adapted from a recipe courtesy of Cherry M. of Durham, North Carolina.

http://www.tasteofsouthern.com/pork-neck-bones-with-gravy/

 

Your Comments: Have you ever tried Pork Neck Bones with Gravy? Ever cooked them? Cherry and I would love to know. Please share a comment with us while you’re here.  It will only take a minute or two for you to share your thoughts with us in the Comments section below. Please note that all of our Comments are moderated. That just means that I personally read each and every one of them before they are approved for our family friendly site here on the Internet. Your comment will not appear immediately, but I’ll do my best to get it posted online as soon as possible. Thank you in advance.

Sign Up For Our FREE Newsletter: While you’re here, be sure to Sign Up for our totally FREE Newsletter. Each week, I try to send out an Email to let you know about the newest recipe that I’ve posted here on Taste of Southern. It’s a great way to keep up to date on the latest happenings around here, and we’ll let you know first about our upcoming contests and giveaways. It’s absolutely FREE to signup, and you can do that by entering the requested information in the box below, or in the one you’ll see in the top right hand corner of each page of our site. And, should you ever decide you’re just no longer interested, it’s even easier to unsubscribe. I hope you’ll never feel that way though. So, go ahead and Sign Up while you are here. I’ll be looking for you on our list. Thank You again for your support and for your visit today. Please feel free to share information about our site with your family and friends. I greatly appreciate it.

Be Blessed!!!
Steve

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Category: Main Dishes, Pork

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (25)

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  1. Peter M says:

    Been eating neckbones for over forty years. It would always be a “Tuesday dinner” ya know how certain days of the week growing up seemed to always be a certain meal (Fridays were always fried fish and Sundays were always beef roast & gravy). Tuesdays were delicious dinners of neckbones w/ collards or spinach, sweet potatoes and cornbread. The only variation my momma’s recipe had from this one was the addition of sage and jalapeño peppers slices. This recipe up here is the simplest I’ve come across AND it is still great eatings!

  2. Shannon Kobayashi says:

    Bought a 5 lb pack for 3 dollars, my bf had no idea why I was so excited! (He’s from Pa) seasoned some and threw them in a big pot of pinto beans for dinner last night and doing this recipe tonight.

  3. Harlee says:

    Cooking Neckbones for the first time using this recipe. My mother had a pack in the freezer & I’m trying to build my cooking skills. Just finished putting everything in the pot. I don’t know if I did the cutting the fat part off well but I did try. Lol
    Thanks again

  4. cynda k says:

    Neck bones are a go to favorite for my dutch oven. I make a french cassoulet and use neckbones because the marrow thickens it.

    Tonight I made soup. Neck bones Vidalia onions long hot peppers sweet peppers soaked black beans carrots tomatoes turnips chicken broth hot paprika Cummin red pepper flakes black pepper Chipotle flakes oregano red wine. About 2 1/2 hours on the stove top in a 13 qt enameled cast iron pot. Served with rice

  5. kristy says:

    I was raised on pork neck bones with green lima beans aka(butter beans) cooking some today my client never had any an she’s from CT, with corn, red an green peppers an onions little salt , beef bullion,garlic, celery season, an black pepper with lamb drippings yum in a crock pot cant wait

  6. Tracie Woolf says:

    My nana made fresh neck bones all the time. I use smoked neck bones all the time in my beans and greens. This recipe brought back memories of being in my nana’s kitchen. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us!

  7. tami barnes says:

    Believe it or not, I grew up in the South and never had neckbones in years never cooked them but today I will try your recipe, I am crossing my fingers it will taste good.

    • SSMinno says:

      Where are you all from, the one of the best ways to eat neck bones is to boil them in water and then add 1 cup rice to it, yumyum, you have never had better rice and neck bones only need a little salt.

  8. Daymon says:

    Sounds delish…I like to add a little Louisiana hot sauce and a little white vinegar after the first boil.

  9. Christine says:

    Found your recipe today after I saw neck bones on sale in the supermarket. Never tried them before (not a Southerner). Delicious! So easy. I was tempted to add a little thyme, bay leaf, or rosemary which I may do in the future, but I followed the recipe exactly. Loved it. Dinner was the pork and gravy, pasta (with gravy), braised celery, and a side of applesauce. Have leftovers so tomorrow I’ll make toast/biscuits with the pork and graaaaaaavy.

  10. Gabrielle A says:

    OMG, my fiance said this was the best neck bones she has ever eaten. She even admit that is was better than her grandmother ‘s and ever southern person know it is hard to beat someone ‘s grandma cooking. Thank you for the receipe and the pictures showing step by step…it helps seeing what you need to do. Also, this was my First time cooking it. I will be back on this site again and it is saved under my favorites lol

  11. Dawn Lee says:

    This is a great recipe and one that I modified twice. The first time seasoned the neck bones and dusted them with flour, browned them on all sides, removed from the pot and then made the gravy and once it was done, I added the neck bones to the gravy and cooked them in the oven for about 2hrs (falling off the bone)

    The second time I pretty much stuck to this recipe but again I browned them first and then followed these instructions, after about 1hr 15min I checked for the tenderness of the meat, once it was to my liking, I added cabbage and cooked for another 15min or so. It was so so so good with homemade cornbread.
    Thanks so much for posting!!!

  12. R V Dump says:

    Wow. That was really unpleasant, both in aroma while cooking, and in taste. Straight into the trash bin. Did I miss something?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi R V, I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t like the Pork Neck Bones. It is an acquired taste, much like collards would be. I just hope you didn’t have some bad meat. Pork Neck Bones don’t sell well in some places, and they might have been in the grocer case a bit too long. I purchased a pack once that I left in the refrigerator for a few days too long, and they smelled a little bad so I had to toss them. Also, you need to rinse them well before cooking, that sometimes helps with the aroma. Neck Bones are usually a good buy. I haven’t posted a recipe on baking them in the oven BBQ style, but they are good that way and you might prefer that better. Perhaps we can do that soon. Thank you for trying them though. I do appreciate your comments and I hope you’ll visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

    • Quick says:

      You probably did. Cooking neck bones is simple. If you didn’t season correctly, then yes it would taste horrible. Try cooking them again and add some of your favorite seasonings. Tyme,basil, rosemary, celery salt something. I like using Bell peppers and onions and all the above seasonings.

  13. faye brewer says:

    My mother cooked neckbones with potatos and put a can of sauerkraut on the top when it was done.I like to cook them with stringbeans and potatoes.

  14. Doug Harlow says:

    I discovered pork neck bones living in the South End of Boston in the 1970s, a section with many African Americans. I picked some up because they were affordable and found that I liked them – a lot. A black friend came over one day when I was cooking neck bones and said ‘Ah! neck bones.” I asked him how he knew what I was cooking and he said he was raised on them and knew the aroma.
    Long story short – we moved to Maine in the mid-80s where nobody ever heard of neck bones. Yesterday, while shopping with my daughter in Portland, ME., I found an Asian market that sold not only neck bones, but pork bellies and non-smoked ham hocks. Cooking neck bones with your recipe today! Yum, yum!

  15. Leisa says:

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I made it this pm for the first time. Added some carrots and celery to the water. Served in a bowl with Ranch-style beans added to gravy and then poured over rice with meat. Flavorful, easy, inexpensive, and satisfying.

  16. Rachel B says:

    I tried this recipe last night, served it over rice with asparagus sauteed in bacon bits. LOVED IT and so did my family, I had no left overs!

  17. tom k says:

    decided to try this recipe over the weekend and it turned out great! I only made 2 lbs worth for me and my girlfriend…. wish i bought more! Very easy to follow and everything came out delicious. I did make potatoes and biscuits just to smother everything in gravy. 🙂

  18. Terry (Ted) Muse says:

    Hi Steve,

    My grandmother use to fix neck bones all the time. We thought it was better than a big old roast beef. Also I love pickled pigs feet but cooking and eating fresh ones are a 100% better. Love’um!! I’m anxious to try this neck bone recipe. Probably won’t be as good as my grandmothers, or yours, or Cherry’s, but I’m gonna give it my best shot. Have a great day.

    Best regards & Happy Trails,
    Terry (Ted)

  19. Patricia Potts says:

    Love the news letter steve and your stories are wonderful.
    Recipes very good. I try as many as I can.

  20. Mary says:

    Mama used to make neck bones and noodles when I was growing up…delish! South My Mouth (another great southern cooking blog)recently posted neck bones and rice. Now, I have two great neck bone recipes!! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Tammy says:

    I LOVE neck bones and rice! Takes me back to when my Grandmother used to make them when I was a child. Can’t wait to make this!

  22. Martha M says:

    I’ve never tried the neck bones and gravy but I have cooked neck bones and put collards in the broth and cooked them. They are delicious. I know that you don’t care for collards but you should try them with the neck bones. Martha

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