Essentials: Collard Greens Recipe

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Why This Recipe Works

  • Simmering the ham hocks except the meat falls off the bones creates a deeply flavorful broth.
  • Hen stock adds even more style.

Collard greens, stewed except soft and filthy rich with cured pork, are a dish that’s become emblematic of Southern cooking and, more particularly, African-American cooking. Hint its origins and you would traverse empires and colonies, swap routes and slave ships—comely meals with, at instances, brutal roots.

Per Michael Twitty of Afroculinaria, Portuguese slavers introduced collards to their forts in West Africa and Angola. Because stewed greens had long been a staple meals in important of Africa, collards—a leafy member of the brassica family, devour kale—had been a natural addition to the native cuisines. Enslaved Africans then carried those greens with them to the Americas, stewing collards and other greens in a deeply flavorful broth—identified as the “pot likker” (pot liquor). The tradition has unfold from there and continued to at the current time.

How collards should always restful be cooked customarily is a contentious topic. Closing yr, after Entire Meals tweeted a characterize of braised collards with peanuts, the firm weathered a backlash from americans that objected for 2 reasons. First, many claimed that peanuts had no swap within the collards pot. 2d, the tweet carried a faint whiff of cultural colonialism (“Howdy, compare out this cool new vegetable I’ve found,” says the white particular person to a nation of murky americans that’ve identified about all of it along). Concerning that second motive, I’m no longer convinced the conventional tweet used to be rather so tone-deaf, but I realize the scheme it could perhaps perhaps well perhaps very successfully be taken that manner. Be taught it here and purchase in your self.

These objecting on the foundation of the foremost point, though, had been decidedly scary. Twitty truth-checked their claim in an editorial on his put, bringing up that in Africa, peanuts had been a in model addition to braised greens—nothing ahistorical about it.

Here, we are succesful of quilt the manner to assemble a somewhat ragged pot of collards stewed with ham hocks, hewing closely to traditional recipes. For those of you attempting to procure a vegan model, I created but every other recipe that makes an strive to clutch the identical smoky, meaty flavors, minus the meat. With any luck, my nontraditional scheme could perhaps impartial no longer encourage a peanut-sized reaction.

The model to Impact Traditional Collards With Pork

The foremost to a conventional pot of braised collards is that it is a in point of fact grand to first put together dinner the cured pork long sufficient to tenderize it and assemble a deep and smoky broth. That’ll become the pot likker later. I customarily exhaust meaty ham hocks and simmer them in rooster stock with onions for even more style and depth (though water works perfectly successfully). With hocks, this could clutch spherical two and a half hours.

You have to perhaps perhaps well moreover exhaust slab bacon, salt pork, or but every other smoked or cured fatty within the reduction of of pork, but ensure to manual clear of the rest lean, devour a smoked pork loin—it will only dry out and toughen up because it cooks. Diversified cuts can clutch completely different amounts of time to completely tenderize, so it is easiest to register periodically and prod at them with a fork; it’s essential to perhaps well know after they’re executed.

As soon as the pork is soft, I obtain it from the pot, pull the meat and other apt issues from the bones (which should always restful acceptable slip precise out), nick it into chunks, and add it serve to the pot.

Then the collards go in, their woody stems removed and the generous leaves within the reduction of into ribbons. Here is but every other one in every of those fantastic vegetable dishes for which you for certain desire to overcook the greens, so that they are very soft and infused with the flavour of the broth (and the broth, in flip, is infused with the flavour of the greens). About Half-hour is a superior birth line, however the greens are very forgiving—when they’re cooked, you would relief them sizzling, and they also’ll appropriate recover and higher.

At this point, the greens will likely be executed. You’ll need web an excellent deal of liquid left within the pot, which is a joy to sip devour a broth on its hang, or sop up with cornbread. Some americans will slip a bit sugar into the greens, though I purchase their natural sweetness. Either manner, you would hit them with some vinegar within the event you devour, whether within the full batch or to style in every individual bowl. In most cases sizzling peppers procure their manner into collards as successfully, so genuinely be at liberty to play with that; the foundation is to tailor the dish to your hang tastes.

Braised Collard Greens With Ham Hocks Recipe

A standard pot of braised collards has deep, smoky pork style and meltingly soft greens.

  • 1 1/2 kilos (680g) meaty smoked ham hocks (leer notes)

  • 2 medium yellow onions (about 1 pound; 450g), sliced into 2-scurry lengths

  • 4 medium cloves garlic, overwhelmed

  • 2 quarts (1.9L) keep-it-yourself rooster stock, low-sodium store-bought rooster broth, or water

  • 3 kilos (1.3kg) collard greens, woody stems trimmed and leaves within the reduction of into thick ribbons

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground murky pepper

  • Apple cider vinegar, to style (no longer important)

  1. In a gargantuan pot or Dutch oven, mix ham hocks, onions, garlic, and rooster stock and bring to a simmer. Conceal and put together dinner at a bare simmer except hocks are very soft, 2 to three hours.

  2. Have interaction away ham hocks from liquid, switch to a reducing board, and pull bones from meaty and fatty aspects. Discard bones. Sever up meat into chunks and return it to pot.

  3. Add collard greens, urgent down to submerge in liquid. Return to a simmer and put together dinner, uncovered, except collards are very soft, about Half-hour. Season with salt and pepper. Add vinegar to style, if desired, then serve. (You have to perhaps perhaps well be in a situation to add vinegar to the pot, or let individual diners season their greens with it at the desk.)

Particular Instruments

Dutch oven


You have to perhaps perhaps well be in a situation to swap out the ham hocks for other smoked or cured pork products, devour slab bacon or salt pork, so long as they’re no longer lean meats, devour smoked pork loin. Lean meat will dry up and toughen with extended cooking.

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