Prep 25 mins
Cook 3 hrs
This recipe is a favorite of our family and friends, and even folks who were hesitant to try greens have said they really liked these. I often make them around New Years too, along with Hoppin' John. When I'm in a hurry, I save prep time by buying pre-washed, trimmed and bagged collard greens in the produce department. Sometimes I add a little leftover ham as well, cubed -- and I still use the ham hocks and bacon too -- I guess we love pork. :)
- 2 bunches collard greens or 2 bunches two bags of pre-washed collard greens
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or 3 tablespoons a mixture of olive oil and bacon grease
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 -3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 smoked ham hock (can also add 3 slices of chopped cooked bacon, if desired)
- 2 quarts chicken broth, warm
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- add a dash hot pepper sauce, if desired, when serving
- To prepare greens, cut away the tough stalks and remove all stems from the collards. Discard any leaves that are bruised or yellow. Wash the collards thoroughly to remove the grit, 2 or 3 times, until the water runs clear. Dry thoroughly -- you can do this easily by rolling them up in a clean dish towel. (I sometimes use two bags of pre-cut and prewashed collard green pieces from the produce section, but I still break off any large pieces of stem as they tend to be tough even after cooking.).
- Place a large pot or cast iron Dutch oven over medium heat and add the olive oil. When it is heated, add the onion, bay leaves and ham hock. (If using bacon, cook beforehand and then add when the greens go in.) Cook the mixture until the onions are soft and are starting to brown, about 8-10 minutes. To prevent the garlic from burning, add it just a few minutes before the onions are done.
- Pack in greens, pushing them down into the pot. Add the broth, vinegar and sugar. Bring up to a boil, turning the greens over occasionally with a wooden spoon as they wilt. Lower to a simmer, cover the pot and cook for 1 hour. Taste the "pot liquor" (broth) and check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper as desired.
- Cover again and let cook for an additional 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Some recipes use a lot less cooking time, but this additional time really helps all the flavors come together. (If using the bagged pre-cut collard greens, they may only have to cook for another 1 to 2 hours.) Remove the bay leaves and ham hock, dicing up and adding any meat from the ham hock, drain off excess cooking liquid, and serve.
Thank you tastetester for a delicious recipe. This was my first attempt at greens, we loved them. We have had them other places, and did not care for them. This recipe was easy to follow, and SOOOOO tasty!
Having lived in the South, on and off, for 23 years (Louisiana, Florida, Alabama), I have eaten my share of collard greens. These are, without question, the best I ever have had! My collards were from the Farmers' Market; my ham hock was wonderfully meaty. It was delicious with skillet cornbread.
Even northerners like me will appreciate these tasty greens. Having never eaten collard greens before, I was a bit skeptical. But they were yummy. Thanks, TasteTester, for explicit and easy directions. Look at how much Vitamin A is in this recipe!