True southern, soul food style, collard greens with smokey bacon.
We all have that one dish that is pretty much or signature dish. It just so happens that I have several, and collard greens happens to be one of them. My collard greens are infamous in my family and friends circle, and my husband has even named them! What does he call? He calls them ” Put A Ring On It Collard Greens”! Why? Because he claims that once he had a plate of my collard greens, he knew I was wifey ( and I thought it was because I was cute and had a nice personality…wtf!). I remember the first time I had cooked the greens for him. He had called all of his friends and his MOM, and bragged about how his girlfriend had just cooked him a homemade meal with some collard greens. I knew right then, that my greens were the BOMB hunty!!! My husband once said that although he liked greens, he never LOVED them until he tried my southern collard greens recipe. Little does he know, there really isn’t much to the recipe. Of course I don’t tell him that! Heck, he thinks that I have some special ingredient that I add to my pot of greens. And your boo will think the same thing once you make them a pot of these homemade southern collard greens. All I ask of you is…. Once you get that wedding ring- at least send me an invite!
So how do you make a authentic pot of southern greens?
Believe it or not, collard greens are actually easy to make. They can be a little time consuming. I remember whenever my mom would make greens it seemed like it took her forever! As a child, I used to wonder why the heck it took her so long just to make a pot of vegetables. It just made no sense to me! It wasn’t until my mom taught me how to make greens, that I understood why it took so much time. In order to make tender and flavorful greens, you must be patient. You have to give the collards time to really absorb all of the flavors in the pot, and the longer you cook the greens, the more tender they will be.
For southern collard greens, most the flavor comes from a smoked meat. There are many different smoked meats that you can use. I personally prefer to use pork bacon ends. I realize that there are some people that do not eat pork. Here are a few other smoked meats that you can use instead of the pound of bacon ends that I use for this recipe
- Two pounds of Turkey Bacon plus 1 tbsp of olive oil, chopped. Cook the same as written for the pork bacon.
- 1 1/2 pound Smoked turkey wing. Boil in 3 to 4 cups of water for 45 to one hour over medium high heat. Reserve water and use along with the recipe instead of the 2 cups of water
- 1 1/2 pound of smoked turkey necks. Boil in 3 to 4 cups of water for 45 to one hour over medium high heat. Reserve water and use along with the recipe instead of the 2 cups of water
I like my greens to have a slight kick of spiciness to them, so I add 1 large jalapeno to my pot. If you are not a fan of hot peppers, you can omit the jalapeno.
So now that we’ve talked about making the collard greens, the next thing to do is to make the greens. Be sure to watch my video down below for a visual, and print out the recipe.
- 4 lbs collard greens, cleaned and cut
- 1 lb bacon ends, chopped
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp seasoning salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 large jalapeno pepper, sliced
- 2 to 3 tbsp of white distilled vinegar
- Place the bacon ends in a pot, and place the pot over medium heat.
- Brown the bacon then add in the diced onions, and cook until the onions start to sweat.
- Add in the minced garlic,then cook for 1 minutes.
- Pour in the chicken broth, and turn the heat up to high and let boil for 20 minutes.
- Pour in the 2 cups of water, and turn the heat down to medium.
- Start adding in the collard greens into the pot.
- Once all of the greens are in the pot, sprinkle in the seasoning salt and ground black pepper.
- Add in the sliced jalapeno, and the vinegar and stir the ingredients.
- Cover the pot, and let simmer for 1 hour and 10 minutes over medium heat. Be sure to peak in and stir periodically.