Roasted Pulled Pork on Cheesy Grits Cakes with Collards

Roasting low and slow (8 to 10 hours) delivers super-tender results. Serve pork on cakes made of cheesy grits and piled with braised cabbage collards for layers of Southern flavor.

Roasted Pulled Pork on Cheesy Grits Cakes with Collards
Photo: Carson Downing
Hands On Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
8 hrs 50 mins
10 cups


  • ½ cup salt

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tablespoon whole peppercorns

  • 1 5- to 7-pound boneless Boston butt (pork shoulder)

  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoon smoked paprika

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • recipe Cheesy Grits Cakes

  • recipe Braised Cabbage Collards

Cheesy Grits Cakes

  • 4 cup milk or chicken stock

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 cup stone-ground grits

  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Braised Cabbage Collards

  • 2 bunches cabbage collard greens or collard greens*

  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 2 cup unsalted chicken or vegetable stock

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • Kosher salt, to taste


  1. Brining: In an oversize resealable plastic bag or a large plastic container with a tight-fitting lid, combine the salt, sugar, bay leaves, garlic, and peppercorns. Add just enough water to mix and dissolve ingredients. Place roast in bag and fill with enough water to completely cover. Place bag in a leakproof container and refrigerate overnight, but not longer than 24 hours.

  2. Seasoning: Preheat oven to 250°F. Remove roast from brine and pat dry. In a small bowl combine brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper. Rub mixture all over roast. Place on a rack in a roasting pan. Insert an ovenproof thermometer in thickest part of roast. Add 1/2 cup water to bottom of pan.

  3. Cooking: Place roasting pan, uncovered, in oven. Bake until internal temperature reaches 200°F, 8 to 10 hours. Add 1/2 cup water to bottom of pan every 1 to 2 hours. Remove meat from pan, reserving juices, and wrap well in foil; let rest 30 to 45 minutes.

  4. Using two forks, shred roast, place in a serving dish, and moisten with some of the reserved baking juices. Serve on Cheesy Grits Cakes with Braised Cabbage Collards, if desired.

Cheesy Grits Cakes

  1. In a 4- to 6-qt. pot bring milk to a boil over medium and add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. (Omit salt if using stock.) Gradually stir in grits and reduce heat to low. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes. Mixture will be very thick and pull away from sides of pan. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, butter, chives, cayenne, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper,.

  2. Spread grits in an even layer in a 9x13-inch baking pan lined with parchment paper. Let cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (at least 4 hours). Using a 2-inch cookie cutter or a sharp knife, cut into cakes; refrigerate until ready to serve (up to 3 days).

  3. To serve, transfer cakes to a baking sheet lined with foil. Broil 5 inches from heat 5 to 7 minutes until lightly golden brown. If desired, top with Roasted Pulled Pork and/or Braised Cabbage Collards. Makes 20 cakes.

Braised Cabbage Collards

  1. Strip greens from stems and rinse thoroughly to remove dirt and sand. Discard stems. Working a few at a time, stack leaves on top of each other, roll up, and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Set aside.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium-low. Cook garlic slowly to extract flavor but not brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually add greens to pan, a handful at a time; stir. Greens will cook down quickly. Add 2 cups stock, 1 tablespoon sugar, and crushed red pepper. Simmer, covered, until tender, 45 to 60 minutes, adding additional stock as necessary. Stir in vinegar; add kosher salt to taste. Serves 8.

Collard greens can sometimes be found packaged already stemmed and sliced. Use two 10-oz. packages.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

602 Calories
29g Fat
10g Carbs
67g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 602
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Cholesterol 236mg 79%
Sodium 1449mg 63%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 67g
Vitamin C 0.1mg 1%
Calcium 76mg 6%
Iron 4.9mg 27%
Potassium 985mg 21%
Folate, total 1mcg
Vitamin B-12 2.3mcg
Vitamin B-6 1.2mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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