Elaina and I were at an outdoor seasonal market in Bellingham, WA recently, and as we were walking around, I noticed that they had a varietal of collard greens available for sale. My mouth instantly begin to salivate since, growing up in the south, we ate greens on a regular. It’s one of my favorite dishes of all time and my mom knows it, as she always has a batch waiting for me when I come home to visit. So, I decided to grab 5 bunches and proceed to checkout. This lady behind me asked me what I was going to do with them and my eyes lit up as I explained to her my recipe and process of getting the best flavor out of your collards. That is the inspiration behind this post, so, lady-behind-me-at-the-cash-register, this one is for you!
5~7 bunches of Collards. More is always better in my opinion. Be careful as they do cook down.
12 oz of cured salted pork
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 shallot, optional. I love the extra flavor that it adds.
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
Serves approximately 6 to 8. Unless it’s someones favorite. Then it serves approximately 4 to 6. <insert smiley face here>.
So this is what your greens look like bunched up. Five bunches is a good start for cooking in a basic 8qt. pot.
You want to shred the leaves from the stems and rip them apart, as collard leaves can be huge.
This part is the most critical. CLEAN GREENS ARE GOOD TASTING GREENS. You want to wash your greens until all dirt is removed. I run them through the wash in the sink until my water is clear.
The fun part. Cut up all 12 oz. of your cured salt pork. You could also substitute other types of salted pork, such as smoked ham hocks, pickled rib tips, etc. I’ve seen it all and had it all and all taste great!
Once your meat is cut up, fry it up in a sauce pan and let that oil accumulate.
Final step. Put the greens into your pot. No need to add water at this point because of the water drip from the greens. Add in your salt pork and approximately 1 tablespoon of the fat drippings. Include your chopped onions, garlic, and shallots (optional). Add garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low to medium-low heat for approximately 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Its okay to add more water if necessary, which is usually an indicator that the fire is too high. The greens are ready when they are buttery soft and tender. No adente here!
ENJOY, and leave a comment below to let me know how it turns out. BON APPETITE!!!