Fresh Collard Greens cooked with smoked ham hocks (or smoked turkey wings) are savory and delicious. Serve this popular southern vegetable as a side dish or light meal. Pairs well with crusty Homemade Self-Rising Cornbread.
You may also enjoy my Smoky Collard Greens.
DID YOU KNOW
Collard greens are a member of the Brassica family. Closely related to kale and mustard greens. Peak season is January through April.
Many believe eating collards on New Year’s Day will attract “paper money” all year. I respect the positivity of this belief.
However, I believe sincere prayers throughout the year… will attract prosperity throughout the year.
Would love to know how you feel about this. Please share your thoughts in the comments.
Chopped stalks cooked with collards add flavor and texture. Get rid of bitterness by sprinkling a little sugar in collards while they cook.
DISCLAIMER (NOT SPONSORED)
I have not been paid to endorse the pictured product. These ham hocks are always good in my opinion! Used them to make this recipe.
What are ham hocks?
I like Wikipedia’s definition: “Ham hock (or hough) or pork knuckle is the joint between the tibia/fibula and the metatarsals of the foot of a pig, where the foot was attached to the hog’s leg. It is the portion of the leg that is neither part of the ham proper nor the ankle or foot (trotter), but rather the extreme shank end of the leg bone.”
How To Read & Follow A Recipe
Reading a recipe is an important life skill. It starts with knowing how to read a recipe’s ingredients, follow the instructions, prep ingredients, and knowing what equipment to use.
The following tips and strategies will help beginners or experienced cooks create a delicious dish as intended in the recipe.
Start with clean hands and organized kitchen. Wash hands thoroughly. Make sure kitchen and countertops are clean before making a recipe.
Create a relaxing environment. Play favorite music while in the kitchen. I love listening to classical or gospel music.
Read the recipe. Don’t just quickly skim it. Thoroughly read from start to finish. Visualize doing each step which will help you avoid missing a step.
If you see ingredient that you and your family don’t use for whatever reason, use a substitutions or omit the ingredient.
My recipes are packed with helpful tips like shortcuts and serving sizes which save time and help with meal planning.
Pay attention to the order in which ingredients are prepped. For example, 1 cup of chopped pecans is not the same as pecans, chopped (measure whole pecans and then chop).
Know the assumptions. For example, when my recipe calls for “sugar,” use granulated sugar. If brown sugar is an ingredient, it will be written as such in the recipe.
Figure out the timing. Check the listed “prep time” and “total time” to be sure you have enough time to complete the recipe.
Look for hints, such as the words “meanwhile” or “at the same time,” which indicate two or more steps can happen simultaneously.
For example, my prep time doesn’t include bringing cold butter up to room temperature. Be sure to include in your timetable.
Watch Recipe Videos. If you’re a visual learner (like me), watch recipe videos. Perfect for when you’re learning a new skill or just want to see how a recipe is made.
Mise en place is a super time saver. This French cooking term translates as “putting in place.” It means prepping/measuring ingredients and chopping food before you start cooking. It’s the perfect way to get organized and avoid missing an ingredient or missing a step in the instructions.
Organize your tools and kitchen equipment. Mise en place isn’t just for ingredients. Before starting, make sure you have parchment paper, aluminum foil, measuring cups, measuring spoons, the right pans, mixing bowls, and other equipment.
Make notes in your recipe. Note any special prep instructions and highlight cooking times. Make note of ingredients omitted, favorite substitutions and creative twists. The notes will be very helpful the next time you make this recipe.
Fresh Collard Greens
- 2 bunches fresh collards
- 1-2 ham hocks If desired, use 3 smoked neckbones or 3 turkey necks.
- 1/4 cup bacon drippings or 1/4 cup olive oil
- 6 tablespoons Liquid Smoke, divided
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- water for boiling
- salt and black pepper to taste
- pepper sauce (optional)
- Cut off ends of collards and discard.
- Thoroughly wash sink with a clean dish cloth and warm soapy water. Fill 2/3 full of warm water. Add 1/4 cup of salt.
- Wash collard greens and rinse in warm water, Repeat. This will remove debris, pesticide, and microscopic bugs from leaves and stalks.
- Stack leaves. Roll and slice into small bite-sized pieces.
- In a large saucepan, add smoked ham hock (or preferred meat). Add chopped collards and stalks. Cover with water. NOTE: To make very tender ham hock, cover and simmer 35 minutes before adding collard greens.
- Stir in bacon drippings, 3 tablespoons of Liquid Smoke and bacon grease.
- Simmer over medium heat until desired tenderness. If water drops low before collards are done, cover with more water. Continue simmering until done.
- Season with preferred amounts of salt, black pepper and pepper sauce (if using). If desired add remaining 3 tablespoons of Liquid Smoke.
- Serve warm or hot with crusty cornbread.