Collard greens are
a very nutritious and inexpensive treat. When I was growing
up, my grandmother would buy about 50 cents worth of collard
seeds and this would grow enough collard greens to feed us for
the entire year. That 50 cents worth of seeds would produce
hundreds of collard plants in our North Carolina backyard
2 - 3 medium
smoked ham hocks
or 2 pounds smoked pork neck bones
5 pounds of
collards or several large bunches
(If you can't get them fresh, frozen will do.
2 teaspoon of
My favorite way to
cook collard greens is very simple. I take 2 or 3 smoked ham
hocks and put them in a large (6 quart) pot of water. Bring
the water to a rolling boil and let it boil for about 1 1/2
hours. Add more water as it boils down. The idea is to boil
the ham hocks until they begin to fall apart. You should
always cook pork very thoroughly and use proper food handling
techniques. You want the ham hocks to be falling apart before
you add the collard greens.
Take the collard
greens and separate the leaves (if fresh) . Now rinse each
leaf individually under cold running water. After you rinse
the collard greens thoroughly, stack several leaves on top of
each other. Roll these leaves together. Then slice the leaves
into thin strips using a cutting board and large knife.
Rolling them together speeds up the process as you are
slicking through several leaves at once.
Next, add your
collard greens to the pot. Since this is a lot of collards,
you will need to add them until the pot is full. Then allow
them to wilt as they cook - then add more. Add you salt, cover
and cook for thirty minutes on medium heat. Stir every few
minutes to distribute the smoked meat taste evenly. Taste to
confirm they are the tenderness you prefer. Serve with your
favorite meat dish such as chitterlings. Eat the ham hocks or
neck bones right along with the collards.
If you used frozen
collards, simply pour them - frozen - right from the package
to the pot.
If you use smoked
neck bones, they usually don't take as long to cook as ham
People in my neck
of the woods usually sprinkle lots of hot sauce on their
collards. I like them that way. Give it a try.
Since this is a
large pot full, just save the extras in the refrigerator. They
should keep for a long time and actually get better as the
juices settle in.
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