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Southern Collard Greens


I absolutely fell in love with the South at a young age. It was the Spanish moss, the warm breeze, and the food. Oh, the food. From fried chicken, mac & cheese, okra, hoppin John, turkey necks. Oh LAWD. I recently went to visit my good friend in Atlanta. She had just moved from Seattle for grad school and had basically been buried in her books since she arrive. Naturally, I came to distract her. We planned half of our trip in Savannah, Georgia, and ended up spontaneously driving up to Hilton Head, South Carolina the last few days. Moral of the story - I had a lot of collard greens. You might think, yeah, yeah I'm sure you ordered them a few times. No. I ordered them at every restaurant we went to. I was on a mission.


I've been making collard greens for years. Each time adjusting a bit, reading a bit, researching a bit. It's not a quick process. To truly develop the flavors and to get the pot likker (the liquid gold left after boiling the greens) just right, it takes time.


So let's get to it.

A lot of people remove the stem from the collards. I actually really like the stem, it add additional texture, but it comes down to a personal preference. After the collards are cut, we're going to rinse the living hell out of them. Collard greens are grown in sand, so it's not really as simple as a quick rinse.


See. Lots of sand. My general rule is to rinse at least three times. I fill up a big pot with water, submerge the greens, massage the greens in the water. Drain and repeat.

Next, rinse the smoked ham hock very well and place is in a large pot. Add enough water in the pot to cover the ham hock. You can also use a smoked turkey neck, smoke ham shank, etc.


Turn the heat to medium high, cover the pot, and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the ham hock is nice and tender and ready to fall off of the bone.

Once the ham hock is tender, add in the collards greens, the diced onions, and the remainder of the ingredients.



Add in an additional 5 cups of water so the greens are submerged (this will be your pot likker), and simmer for about 2 hours until the greens are tender. By now, the majority of the water should have evaporated, and if it's not, continue to cook down.


Ingredients:

· 5-6 bunches of collard greens

· 5 cups water

· 1 large smoked ham hock

· 1 Tablespoon salt

· 2 Tablespoons sugar

· 1 Tablespoon bacon grease

· 3 teaspoons worcheshire sauce

· 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

· 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

· ½ teaspoon smoked paprika

· ½ teaspoon garlic powder

· ½ cup chopped onion



Instructions:

1. Roll the collard greens and slice into pieces.

2. Add the greens to a big pot of water and massage to remove all sand and grit. Repeat 3 times until the water runs clear.

3. Rinse the smoked ham hock very well and place is in a large pot. Add enough water in the pot to cover the ham hock. You can also use a smoked turkey neck, smoke ham shank, etc.

4. Turn the heat to medium high, cover the pot, and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the ham hock is nice and tender and ready to fall off of the bone.

5. Once the ham hock is tender, add in the collards greens, the diced onions, and the remainder of the ingredients.

6. Add in an additional 5 cups of water so the greens are submerged (this will be your pot likker), and simmer for about 2 hours until the greens are tender.

7. By now, the majority of the water should have evaporated, and if it's not, continue to cook down.

8. Enjoy!


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