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Braised Collard Greens
Reminds me of a Sunday afternoon at my grandparents'. Don't forget cornbread!
Growing up, cooking collard greens before the holidays or Sunday dinner always seemed like such a long process. My grandmother would create a small assembly line to pick the greens, wash away all of the sand, and small snails laying between the leaves and rinse for cooking. As I got older, I was very hesitant to even try to make a pot until I realized how easy it is to braise one of my favorite southern veggies.
The cleaning process is the most important part of making collard greens. One sandy leaf and you will have a pot of gritty greens. This reason is why my grandmother always said not to eat at everyone’s home (lol). I like to start off by submerging the greens in cold water with a tablespoon of baking soda or a few dots of gentle dishwashing soap. My trick is to always submerge and rinse the greens at least 3 to 4 times- this is how I ensure that the water is clean and free of any soap or soda residue. Next, I use a knife or my finger to remove the stem before stacking the leaves and cutting them into my desired size (usually 1-inch strips).
What You Need:
2 tbsp of vegetable oil
1 medium onion, about 2 cups quartered and thinly sliced
3 tbsp of minced garlic
4 to 5 bunches of collard greens
2 to 3 lbs of smoked meat
2 tsp crushed red pepper
3 tsp granulated garlic
3 tsp granulated onion
3 to 4 cups of chicken broth
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, or distilled white vinegar
1 tbsp granulated sugar
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
What to Do:
Start with the base flavor. My family has always taught me to make greens with smoked meats. They add a distinct flavor to veggies and the smokiness is undefeated. In college, finding smoked meats are not always easy, so I would substitute for fresh bacon. My preferred meat is smoked turkey parts. You can also choose smoked pork parts. Start by heating 2 tbsp of vegetable oil over medium heat. I like to add a medium onion that has been peeled and chopped as well as minced garlic.
Next, I like to add chicken broth or chicken bouillon with a cup or two of water to prevent the bottom of the pot from scorching. I also like to add in my garlic powder, onion powder, and crushed red pepper. At this point, I add in whatever smoked meat (in this case, a smoked turkey leg) I have chosen to use and let simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the collard greens to the pot with smoked meat. Add in vinegar and sugar and pushed the greens down into the pot during the braising process. They may not all fit at first, but as they cook down- you will find that there will be plenty of room.
Cover the pot and allow the greens to simmer for 2 hours or until the smoked meat has fallen off the bone. Serve immediately and tag @elle.thefoodie in your pics!