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 oil, olive/canola/vegetable
- 2 large smoked ham hocks (or 2 lbs of alternate smoked meat)
- 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
- 4 cups (32 ounces) chicken stock, plus more as needed
- 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 ham hocks/alternate smoked meat 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, stock, 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, 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 together. 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 1/4 cup more stock to replenish the pot, as you see that it’s needed.
- Cover the pot with lid and allow the greens to braise together over medium-low heat for at least another 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
- Taste the collard greens and adjusting seasoning to preference with more salt/pepper and/or hot sauce, if 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.
- Store leftover greens inside of an airtight container. These collard greens will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Keywords: collard greens, southern collard greens, collard greens recipe, southern food, southern recipes