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Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Braised Beans with Collard Greens and Ham

Smoked ham hocks are inexpensive and give the dish rich flavor; substitute with ham steak if you prefer. This dish defines easy, relaxed cooking, so don't stress over measurements.

Southern Living FEBRUARY 2014

  • Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings
  • Hands-on:40 Minutes
  • Total:10 Hours


  • 1 pound dried cannellini beans
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, diced
  • 9 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 5 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 fresh sage sprigs (optional)
  • 3 fresh basil sprigs (optional)
  • Kitchen string
  • 2 (1-lb.) smoked ham hocks
  • 1 Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind (optional)
  • 4 cups chopped fresh collard greens
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes


1. Rinse and sort beans according to package directions. Place beans in a large bowl; add water to 2 inches above beans. Cover and chill 8 to 12 hours.

2. Drain beans, and place in a large saucepan. Add onion and 8 cups broth. Tie together thyme, parsley, bay leaves, and, if desired, sage and basil with string; add to bean mixture. Add ham hocks and, if desired, rind. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, 1 hour or until beans are tender but hold their shape. Skim off foam with a spoon.

3. Remove hocks, and cool 5 minutes. Remove meat from bones; discard bones. Return meat to bean mixture. Add collards, and cook, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes or until collards are tender.

4. Sauté garlic in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat 2 minutes or until light golden. Add tomatoes, and sauté 5 minutes. Stir tomato mixture and remaining 1 cup broth into beans, and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Discard herb bundle and cheese rind; season beans with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.


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Braised Beans with Collard Greens and Ham recipe