This old-world traditional soup has different roots than the canned version we all know. Originally, this pork and foraged wild greens collaboration was made after pig slaughters. The “marriage” referred in the title isn’t about matrimony — it’s about the union of pork and greens and water to create something greater than its parts.
WHAT TO DRINK
Our Reserve Carmenere adds an additional layer to the union of pork and green flavors. Revered for its natural herbaceous flavor, the wine has enough palate weight and acidity to pair well with this soup.
RECIPE FOR THE HOME COOK AS FOLLOWS
1 lb. assorted pork (bones, sausages, cubed shoulder, shank, etc)
2 – 3 sliced onions
handful of garlic cloves, peeled and gently smashed
¼ cup of olive oil
1 lb. roughly chopped hearty greens (chard, kale, nettles, borage, cabbage, etc)
4 cups water (or half quality chicken stock/half water)
1 tbsp. of dried/fresh chili (optional)
Season pork with salt in advance (from 1hr to overnight).
In a large pan, heat olive oil and brown off pork on all sides. Remove from pan, draining off excessive fat. Reduce heat and add onions and garlic. Season with salt as you go, adding chili if desired. Cover and sweat over low heat until tender and translucent, stirring periodically. Once cooked through (about 10 mins) add the greens, season and stir. Cook for a few minutes to wilt the greens down. Add pork and water/broth.
Bring to a simmer and place in 325F oven. Depending upon your cuts, pork could be ready in 1.5 – 2 hours. Check every 30 minutes, stirring and tasting and seasoning (pork will be cooked through and safe to taste after first 30 minutes). If you’d like some “fresh” greens, save some and add into pan for last 10 – 20 minutes of cooking.
Serve with fresh cracked pepper, drizzle of good olive oil and crusty bread.
A NOTE FROM THE CHEF
Ideally, you’d make a week’s worth of soup — so, take your time, give it care and attention throughout the process and you’ll be rewarded with an afternoon of cooking alchemy and a week’s worth of nourishment.
Here, much like in the restaurant, we like to begin on the stove and then finish in the oven. We feel like we have better control over the heat, reduction of moisture and concentration of flavors. If you don’t have an oven pan of size, a stockpot on the stove works.
Enjoy as a soup/stew
With poached eggs for breakfast
Over polenta or rice
Tossed with pasta