4 Tasty Sides to Pair with Neck Bones

Neck bones shine when slow-cooked, pairing perfectly with creamy mashed potatoes, Southern-style collard greens, sweet cornbread, and savory mac and cheese for a rich, flavorful dining experience.

what's good to eat with neck bones

Southern neck bones are a flavorful, economical staple that shines when slow-cooked. These pork pieces render tender meat and a delicious broth, often evoking cultural and family heritage. Ideal for a homestyle feast, they pair well with many side dishes, enhancing the dining experience.

For flavorful neck bones, slow cooking is crucial. Simmer them in seasoned broth for hours until the meat easily falls off. Browning the bones beforehand enhances flavor and appearance. Carefully cook the well-seasoned neck bones using your preferred method for a standout dish.

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1. Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes in ceramic bowl on wooden rustic table. Healthy food

Creamy mashed potatoes are a classic side that pairs wonderfully with neck bones. Their smooth texture and buttery taste provide a comforting balance to the meat’s richness. Plus, they’re an excellent vehicle for soaking up all the delicious juices that the neck bones render.

To prepare, simply boil your chosen variety of potatoes until tender, then mash them with a generous helping of butter, cream, or milk to achieve that desirable creamy consistency. A dash of salt and pepper is all you need to finish this simple yet perfect side dish.

Enhance classic mashed potatoes with roasted garlic, Parmesan, or truffle oil for a gourmet touch. Add chives or parsley for color and freshness. For extra creaminess, blend in butter and cream cheese to give your mash a rich, silky texture.

2. Southern-Style Collard Greens

Homemade Southern Sauteed Collard Greens with Onion and Bacon

Southern-style collard greens are a must-have when serving neck bones. This leafy green is traditionally simmered with bits of bacon or ham hock, which infuse the greens with a smoky, savory flavor that pairs beautifully with the meat’s hearty taste.

The key to perfect collard greens is to cook them until they’re tender but still retain some of their textures. A splash of vinegar and a pinch of sugar help to balance the bitterness and enhance the overall flavor profile of the greens.

To make the ideal collard greens, begin by sautéing onions and garlic, then add red pepper flakes for spice, or use a bay leaf and chicken stock for a milder taste. Season with salt and pepper during cooking. For a lighter, yet tasty version, some prefer smoked turkey over pork. Ensure you remove the tough stems and chop the leaves to cook evenly.

3. Sweet Cornbread Journey

Sweet Homemade Corn Bread Ready to Eat

Sweet cornbread offers a delightful contrast to the savory neck bones, with its slightly sweet flavor and tender crumb. This Southern classic is a staple side dish that can be enjoyed in various forms, from fluffy muffins to a golden-brown skillet cake.

Cornbread is not just versatile in form; it’s also adaptable in flavor. You can incorporate fresh or creamed corn for added texture, or even jalapeños for those who like a little kick with their sweetness.

For tender, sweet cornbread, mix cornmeal and flour with enough sugar and use buttermilk for softness. Mix the batter just enough and avoid overbaking. Bake in a preheated cast-iron skillet for a crispy edge and serve with honey butter.

4. Savory Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese, american style macaroni pasta in cheesy sauce

Mac and cheese is a decadent side that brings creamy, cheesy goodness to any plate of neck bones. This rich dish complements the meat’s savoriness and can be customized to suit any cheese preference. From sharp cheddar to smoky Gouda, the possibilities are endless.

Bake your mac and cheese until it’s bubbling and golden on top for a side that’s as visually appealing as it is delicious. A breadcrumb topping can add a welcome crunch, while a pinch of paprika or dry mustard can enhance the cheese flavors.

Choosing the right blend of cheeses is key to an unforgettable mac and cheese. A mix of strong and mild cheeses can create a complex flavor profile that stands up to the robustness of neck bones. Consider combining aged cheddar for a bite, Monterey Jack for meltiness, and a bit of Parmesan for a salty kick.

To make a creamy cheese sauce, prepare a roux and whisk in milk to create a smooth béchamel, then add grated cheese until melted. This method provides a consistent cheese texture in pasta. Accompanying neck bones with the perfect sides elevates the dish into a rich, flavorful experience, whether you choose traditional comfort sides or a unique variation, enhancing the hearty nature of neck bones and delighting guests.

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