I don’t know about you, but where I grew up greens are a speciality in most households. Whether it was collard, mustard or turnip greens they usually made a weekly appearance on the menu. I tried my hand at making collard greens for the first time this past week and they were a success. My husband loves greens and was excited when I made him a good ole southern dinner. He energetically gave my recipe two thumbs up after two huge helpings!
Let’s get down to business shall we. This post is all about the green!
What You’ll Need:
- 1 large bag pre washed and shredded collard greens
- 1 cup red onion, sliced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, diced
- 4 slices of bacon, meat separated from fat
- 2 pinches salt
- 1 tsp pepper, freshly ground
- 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
To begin, place the greens in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and drain the greens and place them back in the pot.
Meanwhile in a cast iron skillet, cook the bacon fat with about two tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat turning the bacon once. After the bacon fat has cooked to a crisp brown remove from the pan and lay out on a paper towel to drain any grease. Once the greens are done and you plate them, crumble the fried bacon fat over the top for even more flavor and a little crunch.
In the same skillet that you cooked the bacon, return the pan to medium heat and add a tablespoon more of vegetable oil. Add the onion and stir for about two minutes before adding the garlic. Keep an eye on the onion and garlic for about five minutes or until softened.
In the pot with the greens add about 2 cups of water and the onions and garlic. Also add in the pieces of meat you removed from the bacon earlier along with two generous pinches of kosher salt and about one teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.
Bring to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer. Keep covered and remain on simmer for 2-3 hours for the best flavor. Stir every 30 minutes or so to make sure to distribute all of the greens and other ingredients throughout the juices (or pot liquor as we southerns call it). DO NOT DRAIN any liquid from the greens. Serve straight from the pot using tongs or a slotted spoon. (Side Note: If you have left over greens, store in an air tight container with the juices in the fridge. The greens will actually get better and more flavorful over the next few days.)
You will notice after the first 30 minutes or so that the greens will have taken on a darker green color. The juices from the greens will start to render and really mix with the onion, garlic and bacon creating a delicious masterpiece!!
While the greens are cooking enjoy some down time or prepare the rest of the meal that you will enjoy with the collards. I started working on the country fried steaks and fried mashed potato patties about 2.5 hours into the greens cooking time. It was one heck of a country-style meal we had and delicious too!
We don’t eat like that all the time, but I love cooking up some of my favorites (which are typically fried) every now and then and indulging! I am slowly turning my sweet city-slicker husband into a good ole country boy one meal at a time! Couldn’t hurt that daddy wants to take him hunting this fall either, could it? 😉
I hope you enjoy your collard greens as much as we did! Look out for another post this week all about the country fried steak and fried mashed potato patties!
Enjoy and keep it southern!