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how to cook collard greens


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Servings: 2.5


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Step 1

Simmer the ham hock. Bring the water and ham hock to a boil in a large pot over a high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, add the garlic cloves, and partially cover. Simmer for 2 hours, periodically checking and adding more water if needed to keep the ham hock covered. Meanwhile, prepare the collards.

Step 2

Prepare the collards. Wash the collards well in cold water. Remove the center stem by slicing along either side of the stem with your knife, cutting them in half while removing the stem. Alternatively, you can strip the leaves from the stalk using your hands. Stack the collard halves in a single pile and cut crosswise into thick ribbons.

Step 3

Cut the onion. Dice the yellow onion.

Step 4

Cook the collards. After 2 hours, transfer the ham hock to a plate to cool. Add the collards to the ham broth and bring back to a simmer. Partially cover and cook at least 45 minutes for chewy collards, or up to 2 hours for silky-soft collards. Meanwhile, shred the ham.

Step 5

Shred the ham and cook the onion. Shred the meat from the ham hock and discard the rest. Heat the bacon fat or oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and glossy, about 15 minutes. Add the ham and continue to cook until the onions start to brown. Remove from the heat and set aside until collards are ready.

Step 6

Combine and sauté. When the collards are ready, turn off the heat. Using tongs, transfer the collards from the pot and into the pan with the onions. Be sure to include the garlic cloves, which will be super soft and can be easily smashed into the collards. Sauté over medium heat until all the flavors have blended, splashing in a few ladles of the cooking liquid towards the end to moisten the greens. Season with kosher salt and add several grinds of fresh pepper. Serve 'em up!

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