I tested this recipe out on my parents. My dad’s mom hailed from South Carolina and was an excellent cook, Southern cuisine being her specialty. When I told my dad that we’d be having collard greens for dinner, his eyes lit up. I served the collards alongside roast beef and potato-celery root-leek fritters. We used some of the pot likker to spike the roasted-onion gravy served with this comforting meal, and I suggest you do the same – it was delicious. I recommend using the Hinkebein Hills Farm ham hocks pictured on page 25. They’re meaty, smoky and absolutely fabulous-tasting. During cooking, they totally fell apart, and the slivers of tender cured pork became interspersed with the greens. This is one way to get meat-lovers to eat some veggies.
2 to 2½ lbs. ham hocks
1 large yellow onion, quartered
6 to 8 peppercorns
1½ to 2 quarts water
1 to 2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. garlic powder, or to taste
2 tsp. paprika
2 dried chiles, broken into pieces
2 bunches collard greens
• In a Dutch oven, bring the ham hocks, onion, peppercorns and water to a low simmer over medium-low heat, turning the heat down once a simmer has been reached. Let the ham hocks simmer for 1 to 1½ hours.
• Meanwhile, thoroughly rinse the collard greens. Remove the tough stems. Roll the leaves into cylinders and cut into ½-inch ribbons. Set the shredded collard greens aside.
• Season the ham hock broth with salt, garlic powder, paprika and the dried chiles. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
• Add the collard greens to the pot and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, until the greens are tender.
Tags : Collard greens