Close this search box.

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. Printable recipe included.

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.

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.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe to my newsletter for all the latest updates: