Recipe: Frostbitten Collards

from Joey Fatone

Frostbitten Collard Greens

  • 4 strips thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 quart of water, vegetable broth or low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cloves of peeled garlic, left whole
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 large meaty smoked ham hock, or if you must a smoked turkey part
  • 2 bunches, about 5 pounds, cabbage collards, cleaned in several rinses of water and stems removed, and roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly grounded black pepper to taste
  • Additional vinegar, and hot sauce if desired
  • Place a stockpot over low heat. Add the bacon and slowly cook to render the fat. When the bacon is crisp, remove and reserve.
  • Cook the onion in the bacon drippings until "lazy" and slightly colored, about 5 minutes, Pour in the liquid and the remaining ingredients except the collards Increase your heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and continue cooking for 20 minutes. This is the "pot likker".
  • Add in the collards, a handful at a time, stirring each addition until wilted. Believe it or not they will all go in the pot. Cook over low heat for 2 hours or until tender.
  • Remove the hock and let cool. Drain the collards reserving the liquid. Place the liquid in the refrigerator for a quick cool down.
  • Chopped the collards if desired. Taste for salt and pepper. Break apart the hock, separating fat and meat and finely dice the meat and stir into the collards. Remove the "pot likker" and skim the white stuff off the top and stir into the collards. Reserve the liquid for dipping cornbread.
  • Transfer the collards to a bowl, and top with the crisp bacon. Serve with a bottle of vinegar and hot sauce for the table. Freeze any leftovers.

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