Friday, February 22, 2013

Braised Collard Greens

Prepare yourself to be wowed by this delicious collard green recipe!  I'm not sure why we don't make collard greens more often, but I'm definitely going to be more inclined to pick up a bunch when I see them at the store from now on, after making this amazing recipe the other night.  Not to mention they are actually good for you, and relatively inexpensive.  We got a few ideas from other recipes online and created our own blend of ingredients which resulted in tender, tangy, and sweet greens that are full of flavor.  These are sure to liven up any main dish.  Bacon could be omitted for a vegetarian version- just use a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil to cook the onions and garlic.

  • 1 large bunch of collard greens
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 12 oz beer (preferably a lager)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoons hot sauce, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper


Wash the greens and chop off the thick part of the stems.  Slice them into 2 inch strips.  Heat a large pot over medium heat and saute the bacon, stirring occasionally.  
When it just starts to turn brown and crisp around the edges, add the onion and garlic with a pinch of salt.  
Continue to saute for about 5-7 minutes, until the onions are translucent and golden.   Having some brown bits stuck on the bottom is a good thing- it means more flavor after deglazing with the beer.  Pour in the beer and scrape the bottom of the pot clean as it reduces.  

Once the beer has reduced by at least half, add the water, hot sauce, molasses, cayenne pepper 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  When it comes to a simmer, add the vinegar.  
Start adding the greens slowly, stirring after each handful that gets added to the pot.  They should be mostly covered by the time they are all in the pot and have wilted slightly.  If not, add a little more water.  The greens will reduce quite a bit so you don't need them to be complete covered from the start.  
Bring them to a simmer, covered, and reduce to low.  Cook for about one hour, stirring occasionally.  Taste for more salt and/or hot sauce about half way through.  When they are done, the greens will be more of an olive color and very tender.  The bacon almost melts in your mouth.  And the greens have such delicious flavor it's making me hungry just to think about it.  These are perfect as a side dish to your savory main course.

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