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Victory Casserole

September 25, 2015

Kevin’s latest creation was inspired by his recent hospital sta at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. One particular evening, he was served turnip greens with his meal. He didn’t quite like the bitter taste of the turnip greens but steadfastly ate them since he knew they were nutritious. That experience began his quest to find a way to make turnip greens that would remove the bitterness from them. Very wisely, he sought the advice from turnip green connoisseurs, those who grew up in the era of the Great Depression knowing this plant enabled them to survive. Sure enough, each one had the same advice, add sugar. Armed with this information, Kevin set on a quest to develop his own recipe for turnip greens. I must say, not only did he succeed in his quest, he went a step further in cooking them where they were actually very flavorful. Prior to this day, I may have eaten turnip greens once or twice in my lifetime. This day forward, if cooked Kevin’s way, I will gladly eat them far more often! In researching more about turnip greens, we learned that not only were they a staple during the Great Depression, but that they were also grown in Victory Gardens across the country during WW2 and in its own small way, contributed to the Allied victory in winning the war. Yet, Kevin had his own victory today as well. He victoriously created a dish that met his criteria of not having a bitter taste. What a victory for him! What a victory for all of us! We’d like to thank Mr. Elmer Pitts, Mr. Harvey Hammack, and Mrs. Betty Allen for sharing a few hints with Kevin in cooking turnip greens. Too, we’d like to give credit to “Turnip Greens and Pot Likker” from Sharing Recipes: The Yesteryear Cookbook, Whitehouse, Texas, 1984 where he got the idea to cook the turnip greens in salt pork. Additional thanks goes out to his Kickstarter Backers for supporting this recipe.
Ingredients:
6 oz. salt pork
2 bunches of fresh turnip greens, chopped (about 8 cups)
2 cups beef stock
½ c. grape juice
1 tbsp sugar
2 ½ lbs. hamburger meat
1 chopped onion
6 fresh mushroom slices, chopped
¼ c. herbed bread crumbs
4 slices of sharp cheddar cheese

Directions:

Boil salt pork in pot of water for 1 hour. In the meantime, put the chopped greens in a bowl. Mix beef stock and grape juice. Pour over greens. Toss. Sprinkle sugar over greens. Toss. Soak for 20 minutes. At the end of the hour from cooking salt pork, pour turnip greens with juices into the pot with the salt pork. Add more water as needed. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 hour. Near the end of the hour, begin frying the hamburger meat, onion, and mushroom pieces. When done, place ¼ of meat mixture in a casserole dish that has been greased with olive oil. Sprinkle herbed bread crumbs on top of meat. Place layer of turnip greens on top. Place slices of Sharp cheddar cheese next. Repeat layers (meat mixture, bread crumbs, and turnip greens). Place lid on top and cook in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. (Save your remaining meat mixture and remaining turnip green to make Victory Garden Soup. Recipe to follow.

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