Other uses for old things (braised greens with pickle meat)

We all have that tradition from growing up that we later learned wasn't a thing for everyone. Growing up in New Orleans, we have a lot of things like that. What do you mean we don't get off for Mardi Gras (?) was a lesson I finally learned living in Austin over the age of 30. Growing up we always had pickle meat in our red beans at my mom's and grandma's house. We still fight over who gets more when we eat red beans at my parents' house, usually on a non traditional Tuesday.  I learned in college that was not a thing for all people and received lots of questions about what it was. I try to stock up on it when I can; so I got some in bulk from Costco back when I was in a nice kitchen with a crock pot. Unfortunately my crock pot caught on fire doing some prep work for Hogs for the Cause (long story) and my red beans making days are over until I get a new one.

In my search for what to do with my beloved last pack of pickle meat that was nearing expiration I stumbled across this gem of an article in the New Yorker. It so perfectly depicts some trips to the grocery here in New Orleans. I also happen to love me some braised greens with pork products, so I was inspired!  Best part, low carb and calorie!

The cast of characters.  That's bacon grease in the mason jar
that I keep in my fridge.  How am I not married yet?
Braised Greens with Pickle Meat (serves 4 for a light meal, 6 for a hearty side)
1 tablespoon of bacon grease or other fat (olive oil, butter, avocado oil etc)
1 onion roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 pound pickle meat (I like Savoie's)
1 big bag of greens or two fresh heads of it chopped and destemmed
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
seasoned salt, salt and pepper and hot sauce to taste


Cut pickle meat into smaller pieces and remove excess fat:

Heat your bacon grease over medium heat in a dutch oven.  Add onions and garlic and sautee until onions are translucent, like this:

The best smell in the world!

Add your pickle meat and some seasoning.  Heat until meat looks the color of pepto bismol.  (I know that sounds gross, sorry!)

Add the greens and the broth and the water.
Looks like a lot, but it sure aint!
Once it looks more manageable like above, put the lid on and let sit for 20 minutes.
Let sit another 20 minutes and stir again.  And then do that again.  This is not a quick weekday meal/side by any means!

After about 45 minutes, you will have a bowl full of goodness or a yummy side for some grilled meat!

This is what happens when you don't destem!

Happy Cooking!


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