Southern Collard Greens Hamhocks

This recipe is an old family favorite. Collard greens are a southern comfort food thats always a crowd pleaser at family functions such as Sunday dinners, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter or just with a nice mid-week soul food dinner. The seasonings here a basic guideline. The garlic I’ve added is not usually found in most recipes, but I’m a garlic lover and I think it adds a nice layer of flavor. You can certainly leave it out or reduce it to one clove if you enjoy more traditional greens. The bell pepper is also a little untraditional, but its one of my mother’s secret touches, and it doesn’t take much to make a distinctive difference. People always ask, “What is that, I like it?”

Remember that collard greens shrink substantially so take that into account if you’re serving a large crowd. Now, the key to great collard greens is seasoning them to your taste and cooking them long enough to bring the full flavor potential out of the dish. Cook them early and let them rest so that the flavors can meld and get happy with each other in there. Getting collards right can seem like a ritual only known to grandmas and favorite aunts, but with patience and the right recipe, yours can be just as good as the collards Mama used to make! Enjoy!

2 large bunches collard greens

6 cups of water

2 hamhocks

1 can of chicken or vegetable broth

2 cloves garlic chopped

1/4 cup bell pepper chopped fine or grated

2 tbsp salt

2 tbsp pepper

apple cider vinegar (optional)

2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Pull the leaves of the collards from the stem and soak in salt or baking soda for 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly. Strain the water from leaves and set aside. Bring water to boil in a large pot. Add salt and hamhocks to water. Reduce heat to medium to medium – high, cover the pot, and simmer (not boil) until fork tender. (Approx 1 hour)

Remove one or both hamhocks and begin pulling meat from the bone. Add broth, collards, pulled meat, bell pepper, garlic, and pepper to pot. Simmer (covered) on medium- low to medium for about 45 minutes, or until collards are desired texture. Stir occasionally, testing seasonings for more salt and pepper. (Leaving one of the hamhocks in the pot will add more flavor) Cook longer for softer texture.

When collards are desired texture, turn heat to low and add crushed red pepper and/or a splash of apple cider vinegar to taste.

Source:

  1. Collard Greens Recipe : Paula Deen : Food Network
  2. Cookie Diets are a Recipe for Weight Loss
  3. Southern Style Collard Greens Recipe – Allrecipes.com

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