Collard Greens with
Combine collard greens with ham hocks and you've got an authentic southern-style inspired meal. Ham hocks are pork knuckles and are usually found whole at the store. They are quite large and I highly recommend that you have your butcher cut them up in quarters for you. It'll make it much easier in the preparation steps. I do admit this recipe does take time, but as with all of my recipes posted on this site, it's worth it.
1. Using 2 – 3 limes, scrub the ham hocks thoroughly. In this case, you will not use any salt. There will be no marinating of any sort since ham hocks come with their own smoked salted flavor. Rinse the ham hocks thoroughly with water after scrubbing with limes and transfer to a large pot.
2. Fill the pot with enough water to fully submerge the ham hocks. Cover the pot with it’s lid and place on high heat. Boil the ham hocks for a minimum of 2 hours adding more water when necessary. Do not add any salt!
*You also have the option of using a pressure cooker to speed up the process. I would have definitely used my pressure cooker but at the making of this recipe, I was in the process of moving and already had it boxed up.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the collard greens. Lay an individual leaf on a flat cutting surface. Using a sharp knife, run it through both sides of the thick stems to remove them. Repeat with all the collar green leaves and discard the stems.
4. Lay several leaves on top of each other and tightly roll them lengthwise. Then, cut them into several thin ribbons as indicated in the pictures below. Once the ribbons are made, cut once more in half to shorten them. Repeat this step until all the collard greens have been cut.
5. Transfer the cut collard greens into a large bowl and fill it up with enough water to fully submerge. Add about 2 – 3 tbsps. of apple cidar vinegar and gently mix to distribute. Allow it to sit in the water for the remaining duration of the ham hock’s cooking time. A minimum of 30 minutes would also suffice. This not only helps in the cleaning process, but it helps brighten up it’s green color and reduces the strong, sometimes bitter taste that collard greens may have.
6. Dice 1 onion and mince 3 – 4 garlic cloves. Set them aside.
7. When the ham hocks have cooked through and become tender, set it aside until it becomes cool enough to handle.
8. After sitting in the cider vinegar water, thoroughly wash the collard greens by first rubbing them vigorously between your hands. This is to remove any residual dirt. Drain the liquid and pour water to thoroughly rinse them off. Transfer the cleaned collard greens to a pot, fill with water about halfway of the level of collard greens (they will shrink as it cooks). Add the juices of about 2 limes. (I did not leave the limes whole in the cooking process, they are pictured below just for demonstration purposes.) Boil on high heat for about 20 minutes.
9. When the ham hocks are cool enough to handle, separate the skin, fat, and bones from the meat. Largely dice the meat and set aside. Discard the skin, fat, and bones.
10. When the collard greens have cooked down, drain and rinse with water. Set them aside.
11. In a large pot, add 3 – 4 tbsps. of oil, the diced onions and garlic, and place on medium high heat. Sauté for 2 – 3 minutes.
12. To the pot, add in the diced ham hocks and 2 – 3 tbsps. of butter. Mix contents and sauté for an additional 1 – 2 minutes.
13. Add 1 – 1 ½ cups of chicken broth. Mix and allow it to come to a boil
14. When the liquid has reached a boil, add in the drained collard greens, 1 finely crushed Maggie chicken bouillon cube, ½ tsp. seasoned salt, and ½ tsp. garlic powder. Combine to mix everything thoroughly. The reason I add the spices to the greens rather than in the broth with the meat is to prevent the ham hocks from being over seasoned.
Serves 6 - 8
What do you think of this recipe? What sides would you pair this with?
Let me know and comment below!
Let me know and comment below!