Filed under: in the kitchen
Fatback is great if you have it, or a piece of ham hock. Barring either of those, you can use salt pork or bacon ends (my standby). Here’s a chunk of bacon ends out of the freezer. Boil it in some water in a stock pot to get a nice meaty, salty broth going.
Rigorously washed collard leaves (using the soak/swish/dump/soak/swish/dump/soak/swish/dump method) rolled in a cone and sliced into strips.
Boil, boil, boil. What I learned in my collard googling is that many people outside of the south eat collards like they eat kale or chard: sautéd for a little while in olive oil and tossed with citrus or pine nuts or what have you. Southern collards are boiled, and they’re boiled a lot. The result is a limp green dish with not a lot of texture, but melt in your mouth tender. It might be an aquired taste if you’re not used to it, but I love it.
Drain most of the broth out (but not all) and then cut the leaves into more managable mouthfuls. I used a biscuit cutter, but they make these things with serrated edges too (for what? I’ve only ever seen my granddad make egg salad with a serrated one) and they’re great for cutting collards.
Sprinkle with red cider vinegar or pickled hot pepper vinegar and pretend you’re back home. Mmmm.
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