Tangy vinegar brightens the earthy flavors, and a touch of honey rounds out the smoke from the ham hock.
3 (1-lb.) packages fresh collard greens
12 smoked bacon slices, chopped
2 medium-size yellow onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 (12- to 16-oz.) smoked ham hock
Freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
Remove and chop collard stems. Chop collard leaves. Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 12 to 15 minutes or until almost crisp. Add onion, and sauté 8 minutes or until onion is tender. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in chicken broth and next 2 ingredients; add ham hock. Increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Add collards in batches. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook 2 hours or to desired tenderness. Remove meat from ham hock; chop meat, and discard bone. Stir chopped meat into collards. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
My grandmother was always responsible for making the collards for holidays, but she passed away several years ago. This recipe is very reminiscent of her version (though she might have added more sugar or honey), and I will be taking over the tradition of providing collards for family gatherings from now on, thanks to this recipe.
I've made this recipe several times now, it is always a big hit both with collard lovers and those new to this iconic green. It reminds me of the collards my great-grandmother used to make, that she seasoned with salt pork and topped with corn meal dumplings. I don't use the ham hock as I like a higher greens to meat ratio. It is delicious and freezes well.
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