An authentic Southern Collard Greens recipe that is amazing for any occasion! Fresh collard greens broken down into bite-sized pieces that slowly simmer away and tenderize in a rich, meaty, and flavorful broth; better known as the pot likker. This staple among Southern cuisine and Black culture is an absolute must to be had!
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 2 lbs smoked meat, such as ham hocks or turkey wings
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 6–8 cups chicken stock or broth, to preference
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce, plus more to taste
- 1 tablespoon packed light or dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 lbs collard greens- cleaned, stems removed, & then chopped into bite-sized pieces
- Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, gently swirl the pot to evenly coat the bottom. Add in the smoked ham hocks/turkey wings and cook until a golden brown sear appears, about 2-3 minutes on each side.
- Add in the chopped onion and sauté with the meat, stirring often, until the onions soften and become tender, about 4-5 minutes. Then add in the garlic, red pepper flakes, salt/pepper-to taste, 6 cups of stock/broth, and hot sauce, and stir everything well to fully combine.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot with a lid. Let the mixture simmer together for 1 hour, undisturbed. After simmering, the smoked meat should be falling apart, and very tender.
- Carefully remove the meat from the pot and set aside to cool down for a few minutes before handling. Then use a fork or your hands (fitted with disposable gloves, if desired) to tear the meat off the bones. Discard the bones along with any excess fatty parts and add the pieces of meat back into the pot.
- Add in the sugar, vinegar, and collard greens. Stir well to combine all ingredients. It may seem like a lot of greens but the greens will wilt down significantly. If you see that some of the liquid has evaporated from the first braise, add about 1-2 cups more stock/broth to replenish the pot, as you see that it’s needed and to personal preference (for more brothy liquid gold aka pot likker).
- Cover the pot with a lid and let the greens braise over medium-low heat for at least another 1 – 1 ½ hours.
- Taste the collard greens and adjust the seasoning to your preference with more salt/pepper and/or hot sauce, as desired. Serve these greens warm, as-is or alongside your favorite main dishes. Enjoy!
- For best recipe success, please read the blog post & notes in its entirety with video tutorial before beginning.
- Storing & reheating greens: See blog post for complete notes on proper refrigeration and freezing of collard greens.
Keywords: collard greens, southern collard greens, collard greens recipe, southern food, southern recipes