Easy Potlikker

"The first time I had Potlikker (or Pot-likker) was at the famous Mary Mac's Tea Room in Atlanta (and the waiter accidentally spilled a whole bowl of it on my friend's sweater!) Despite that introduction, I've loved it ever since. I agree that real potlikker needs to be made with smoked ham hocks, but I like this easier version that uses bacon. I guess calling it "easy" is up for debate, since it still takes about an hour, but substituting bacon shaves off some boiling and prep time. I've even used diced pancetta in place of the bacon with great results. Enjoy!"
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Ready In:
1hr 5mins




  • Remove the thick ribs from the collard greens. Wash the greens thoroughly and chop coarsely.
  • Melt 2 T butter in a pot over medium heat and add the bacon and onion. Saute until bacon is almost done and onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and saute for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Add water and increase heat to high. Bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to medium and simmer 30 minutes.
  • Stir in the broth, sugar and vinegar into the pot and bring again to a boil. Stir in the greens, allowing them to wilt a bit to make more room if necessary. Simmer over medium-low heat, partially covered, about 50 - 60 minutes, or until tender. Add additional stock or water if too much liquid boils away.
  • Check for seasoning and add pepper and the remaining tablespoon of butter. Add salt only if necessary (since the bacon and broth are salty). Ladle greens with broth into bowls and serve with hot sauce and cornbread.

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  1. I love this particular version of pot likker. I have tried a few and this, by far, makes the best likker. The emphasis (in this recipe) is on the greens, as it should be. This is my "go to" and I make it at least once a month. The combination of vinegar, sugar and spice makes a very satisfying liquid to pour over cornbread or just drink (my preferred method of enjoying the likker). Depending on the size of the leaves, I sometimes add a bit more vinegar followed by the same increased amount of sugar. The more mature leaves can get a bit bitter.
  2. We don't have access to collard greens in this part of the world, but I was looking for interesting ways to prepare kale and tried out this recipe. Holy moly, this was good!
  3. well dash it, i think i will make collard greens more often after tasting this. Thanks so much for a great recipe


I'm a home cook in Washington, DC. I enjoy learning about new types of cuisine and I especially love spicy foods. My cooking style is comfort food with a global twist. Favorite cookbook: Anything from "The Best American Recipes" series. I have yet to make a recipe from those books that I didn't like! Pet Peeve: Picky eaters!!! You don't know what you're missing!
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