I’m going against the grain. I’m rebelling and I won’t be starting this year off on the blog with a smoothie or super duper healthy recipe. Nope, I’m not gonna do it. I’m starting it off with Southern Slow Cooked Collard Greens!
Everyone else is following the January trend of healthy EVERYTHING with green smoothies on the side (which is awesome because I’ll be using those recipes in our every day eating) but I don’t seem to do well when I’m blogging about healthy healthy HEALTHY foods.
There isn’t anything wrong with healthy food (obviously haha) but I don’t get that “amazing, I gotta share this because it made my soul happy” feeling when I’m making or blogging about healthy foods.
So, for the first recipe of 2016 on BigBearsWife.com I’m bringing Southern Slow Cooked Collard Greens to the table.
I’ve been making collard greens at home on my own for a few years and when I made them for our New Years dinner this past holiday, I decided that I needed to go ahead and photograph them for the site.
You do know that you’re suppose to eat greens on New Year’s, right? Ham, Greens, Black eye peas and cornbread will grace the table of every good southerner for New Year’s dinner! 🙂
I can buy tons of collard greens during the summer at the market across the street however I’m ok with grabbing bags of these at the market in the winter. I mean I prefer the fresh local ones during the warmer months and if you can get them that way, do it. However, if you can’t get fresh collard greens, just pick them up from the store.
But, please, please don’t used canned collard greens! Use the fresh, big leaves for these Southern Slow Cooked Collard Greens!
Since you’ll be using fresh collard green leaves for this recipe you’re going to want to make sure that you rinse each leaf before starting to cook. Normally the farmers and grocery stores will wash the collard greens but I still suggest that you rinse each leaf before you begin working.
I got this last batch from the store and when I was washing them, I removed a bit of sand and a lady bug. haha. So yeah, just make sure that you rinse the collards.
I just lay out a bunch of paper towels on the counter, rinse each leaf in cold water and then lay them out to dry for just a bit.
After that, I cut the middle vein out of each leaf.
Then I roll the leaves and cut them into strips.
To make this go quicker, layer a few leaves together and roll them before cutting.
Also, just like the name suggest, you’re going to want to cook these slowly. These collard greens are literally going to cook low and slow all day long.
I suppose that you could make these in the slow cooker but I just put them in a pot on the stove and let them simmer on low during the day.
You’ve got to let these Southern Slow Cooked Collard Greens cook way down with the pork flavor and seasoning for that perfect dish.
Now for the pork, yes, you need to cook these with pork. Ok, maybe you don’t HAVE to cook these with pork but you should because it makes them taste fantastic and well I don’t know what you’ll end up with if you leave out the pork!
You could use regular bacon for these Southern Slow Cooked Collard Greens but let me share my way; I use pork jowl and pork neck bone for mine.
Ahhh, don’t run away! I know, I know, the first time I thought about cooking with a pork neck it kind of freaked me out. However, these two pieces of pork are inexpensive and add a ton of flavor to the collard greens.
The butcher at our local grocery store has them packed up and ready to go and I can normally find them for about $1.50- $2.50 for 2 pounds. You’re really only going to need about 1 1/2 pounds of pork neck and about 1/2 a pound of the pork jowl for these greens.
So can you use bacon instead? Yeah, I suppose. It’ll be good, but it won’t be as good. Not to mention, bacon is kind of expensive compared to the pork jowl and pork neck bone. Plus, pork jowl is pretty much like really, REALLY thick bacon. 😉
If you really need bacon in there you can add some at the end for garnish but you really don’t need to. You’re going to have plenty of pork flavor cooked into them.
So let’s start these around lunch time and they’ll be ready for our dinner. Oh and don’t forget to whip up a batch of Southern Skillet Cornbread to serve with it. 🙂