Thursday, February 25, 2010

Our Collards

Fresh collards braised in a sweet-smoky liquor.  Yes, northerners can do this. We love these collards alongside  baby back ribs or baked ham and biscuits.  This week we’re having them with the leftover roasted pork loin and cole slaw. See yesterday’s  Wordless Wednesday Collards posting for pretty photos of the process.

Our Collards
Makes about six 1/2-cup servings

3 lbs fresh collards  greens- stems stripped off, leaves rinsed and sliced into 1/2 pieces (large rough chop)
1 ham hock (smoked turkey leg or smoky bacon are good substitutes)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (cuts bitterness)
1 14-oz can low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon hot sauce or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt

Prep the greens as instructed above and toss them in a large pot with the remaining ingredients.  Cover the pot and cook at a low simmer one to one and half hours until greens are soft and olive green. (Start checking after 45 minutes.)  Taste and adjust seasoning (adding more salt, black pepper or hot sauce).  You might also like some dill in your collards.  Add it later if you are the only “diller” in the house.

Collards cook beautifully in a slow cooker.  Start on the high setting and turn it to low after an hour—cook on low another 2 hours.  Or start and finish on low—about 5 hours. 

Like great stews, collards taste even better the next day, if you can hold off.