This has to be the MOST requested recipe yet! I get emails and messages every, single day for my Southern Collard Greens recipe. So, without further ado, here it is…
I tried to make this tutorial as easy to follow as possible. I’m always looking out for my beginner Cookies! Soul food can be intimidating to newer cooks. If you just follow my method, you’ll get it right every time. It’s foolproof! No shade.
Cutting: I don’t like the stems of greens. I always remove them by pulling them out. (See tutorial above for a demonstration.) It’s very easy to do. Cutting the greens are easy as well. Once you remove and discard the stems, just simply stack the leaves. roll them up lengthwise, and start slicing.
Cleaning: Remember that movie based off of the Jackson 5? There’s a scene where Rebbie, I believe, was cooking greens and failed to wash them properly, if at all. There were bugs floating in the pot! That scene has followed me throughout life. When I began cooking greens, I would OVER wash them to avoid that mistake happening to me in real life! Rinse, soak, rinse, drain, shake, rattle, roll, and all of that to your greens! We want all of that dirt, soil, sand, bugs, etc completely cleansed from our greens before you cook them. The local market where I purchase mine, are amazing at cleaning them before displaying them. I don’t have to do much cleaning at all. If your greens aren’t as clean and you spot bugs, sprinkle some salt or baking soda on them while rinsing. This will aid in getting rid of all of those nasty little critters that may be hiding in your dinner.
Blanching & Freezing: Now, if you’re fortunate enough to have a surplus of greens and you’re not ready to cook and eat them, you can blanch and freeze them for later. Blanching is essential for a number of reasons. It halts the enzyme action in veggies which could result in loss of color and flavor. It also reduces the possibility of food poisoning, because the high heat of boiling will kill any harmful microorganisms. But, you don’t really care about all of that! Get to the steps, Coop!
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Add in the greens and boil them for 2-3 mins.
- Carefully drain water off greens into a colander.
- Then, immediately place greens (still in the colander) into a large bowl of ice cold water. This will shock the greens.
- Once, greens have cooled, drain the greens well.
- Pack into a freezer safe ziplock bag and freeze until ready to use.
- When ready to cook, thaw at room temperature, and cook as usual.
Let’s Talk Meats: Smoked meat is the best meat for southern greens! I use smoked turkey wings, drums, or necks. They had a wonderful smokey flavor to greens. If you’re a pork eater, pickled or smoked pork will work as well. Pick your own poison!
Spiccccccey??: My dad LOVES spicy greens! When I cook them for him, I always throw in a few slices of pickled jalapenos while they are simmering. That kicks the heat alllll the way up. Red pepper flakes are a milder alternative for adding controlled spice.
Trying to think of something I may have missed…I think I covered it all. But, if you have any more questions, leave them in the comments!
- 3 bunches collard greens (washed and cut)
- 1 lb smoked turkey necks, drums, or wings
- 1 diced onion
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 T apple cider vinegar
- 2 T onion powder
- 1 T garlic powder
- 1 T chicken base
- Seasoned salt and pepper to taste
- 1 T sugar (optional)
- Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large stock pot
- Add in the smoked meat and boil for 1 hour
- Remove meat from the pot and pick all of the meat off the bones. Reserve meat.
- Pack the greens into the pot of stock
- Add in the onions, garlic, meat, chicken base, onion powder, and garlic powder.
- Lower heat, cover, and allow to simmer for 30 mins.
- Stir in the apple cider vinegar (and sugar if using)
- Season to taste with Cajun or seasoned salt.
- Stir well, cover, and continue simmering for 1 to 1 1/2 more hrs or until greens are as tender as desired.