Quarantine Kitchen: A local dish for the center of the table

by | Dec 22, 2020

This year has been full of unprecedented times and situations. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many families and individuals will be cooking at home this holiday season. That’s why we are bringing the dishes to you all month long in our Quarantine Kitchen series. We talked to twenty-three chefs who willingly shared some of their favorite dishes to prepare for the holidays. Stay tuned Dec. 1 through 24 on the blog as well as our social media channels for a new dish to feature in your home each day and let’s get cooking!

During the holidays, a variety of meats make up the center of the dinner table, including turkey, ham and pork. Chef Jeff Towson, co-owner and chef at Smoke and Barrel in Sanford, has provided a pork loin recipe that features a local twist & is sure to please the taste buds of you and your family this Christmas.

Smoke and Barrel, established in 2011, is known for their slow-cooked smoked meats, local craft beer and bourbon. In fact, this dish by Chef Towson features local beer, pork and collards. According to Chef Towson, it is best served with gravy and leftovers can be used to make a delicious sandwich. “Using the leftovers, build a sandwich with the sliced pork, collards and provolone cheese melted on a toasted hoagie and serve with the pork gravy as a dipping sauce,” he said. What better way to have a holiday meal and something easy for the lunch the next day! So stop by a local farmers market or other retailer to get your ingredients today and enjoy this dish holiday dish with your family and friends.

Chef Jeff Towson (right)

Roasted N.C. Pork Loin with N.C. Beer Braised Lee County Collard Greens and Pork Gravy

Serves Four


  • Pork Tenderloin:
    • 2 N.C. Pork Tenderloins, 12 to 16 ounces each (silver skin removed)
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1 sprig rosemary
    • 1 onion diced
    • 2 sliced carrots
    • 2 stalks chopped celery
    • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Beer Braised Collards:
    • 2 bunch of collards, stemmed, washed and cut into pieces
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon pepper
    • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 4 cloves garlic
    • 4 teaspoons brown sugar
    • 1 onion chopped
    • 1/2 cup vinegar
    • 4 slices of bacon, cut into pieces
    • 2 cups chicken broth
    • 3 cups beer (preferably porter/stout)
    • 1/2 gallon water


  • Pork Tenderloin:
    1. Season loins with salt, pepper and onion powder.
    2. Place remaining ingredients in a baking dish.
    3. Sear or grill loins and place over vegetables and broth.
    4. Roast tenderloin at 350 degrees for an hour or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
    5. Keep warm while resting.
    6. Strain and reserve liquid into a 2-quart sauce pot.
    7. Whisk together 1/4 cup of cold water with 1 tablespoon flour.
    8. Bring reserved pork liquid to a boil and slowly whisk in the flour mixture.
    9. Lower heat and simmer for five minutes, check seasoning and keep warm.
  • Beer Braised Collards:
    1. Put all ingredients in a pot.
    2. Bring to a boil.
    3. Then simmer until greens are tender.