GREENS WITH HAM AND CHEESY GRITS
For the greens:
2 tablespoons lard or other fat
1 medium onion, diced
1 bunch kale or collard greens
1 cup wet-cured ham (such as Hormel Cure 81), diced
1 cup water
salt and pepper
1. Prepare the greens. Remove the stems and slice the leaves into 1/2-inch strips.
2. Heat the lard in a stockpot over medium-high. Add the onion and cook until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the greens and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until they begin to wilt.
3. Add the water and ham and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the greens are very tender, about 1 hour (or maybe more for especially thick collards). Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve atop cheesy polenta.
For the cheesy grits:
1 cup polenta or quick (not instant) grits
4 cups water
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir together the polenta, water, salt, and 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan. Place the uncovered saucepan in the oven and bake 45 minutes. Stir well and bake another 5 to 15 minutes, or until grits reach desired texture. Stir in the remaining butter and cheese, check for salt, and serve in big bowls, topped with greens and ham.