Collard greens are a southern dish that finds it origins in the slave diet. Slaves were given discards and leftovers and had to come up with creative ways to make them tasty and nutritious. Eventually, this dish found its way onto the dinner tables across the south and became a traditional favorite. Collards are a bit tough and bitter so they are generally cooked with salt pork or ham hocks and spices until they soften up. They are served with corn bread and “pot likker” — a nutritious, concentrated broth that is eaten using the corn bread to soak it up. I used Emeril’s Essence as my house seasoning; however, I also really love the Neely’s Smash Seasoning. The combination of the seasonings and the hot sauce created a spicy, savory “mess of greens”. Served with Grilled Ham Steak with Mustard Sauce.
SOUTHERN COLLARD GREENS (4-6 Servings)
- 1/2 pound smoked meat (ham hocks or turkey wings)
- 2 t. House seasoning
- 1 t. seasoned salt
- 1/2 cup hot red pepper sauce
- 1 large bunch of collard greens
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Grab a large pot and bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add the meat, seasoning, and salt.
- Once the pot is at a full boil, throw in a half-cup of your favorite hot sauce.
- Let the meat and seasoning simmer for the next hour.
- Wash the greens thoroughly and remove the stems that run down the center.
- Stack a handful (6-8) leaves on top of one another, roll them up, and slice into 1/2 – 1″ thick slices.
- Place greens in a pot with the meat and add butter.
- Let this cook for another 45-60 minutes and stir occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed .