Collard greens are a traditional Southern favorite side dish. They are much maligned and misunderstood in certain circles. The detractors do come around and change their opinion on greens when they have an opportunity to taste greens that are well prepared and seasoned (kinda like grits).
Here’s a method for cooking collards I picked up when I lived in Laurel Mississippi.There are a lot of green recipes out there but this one is pretty easy and the results are fantastic!
The general idea is to great flavor infused water, or “pot likker” before adding any greens to the cooking pot
Taste them along the way to make sure you got your seasoning right…
. I add a little sugar and vinegar to the pot likker too cut down on the bitterness that greens sometimes have.
Watch the video for step by step instructions and cooking tips.
Cook time: 3 hours
2 lbs collard greens
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 or 2 smoked ham hocks
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 or 2 dashes cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Place your ham hocks in a large stew pot. Add water to the pot until it just covers the ham hocks and bring to a boil.
Add in your onion, sugar, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and vinegar.
When the meat starts to pull away from the ham hock bone cleanly, they are done…
Bring to a boil then reduce to medium heat. Cook for an hour or so. The idea is to let the flavor of the ham hocks, onions, etc infuse into the water so that the water will flavor the greens.
Wash, de-stem, Roll 3 or 4 leaves together like a burrito. Cut you collards into 1/2″ strips and then again to make bite size pieces.
Drop the collards in the pot, cover and let ‘em go on low heat for at least 2 hours. Taste them along the way to make sure you got your seasoning right,
When the meat starts to pull away from the ham hock bone cleanly, they are done. I will take a knife and spoon and separate the ham hock meat and stir it into the cooked collards before serving.
Serve with pepper vinegar and cornbread.
We have an excellent recipe for Mexican cornbread that is pictured in the video.
Zeke and a big bunch of North Carolina collards.