Ooo wee y’all! There’s nothing quite like some good southern collard greens. When they are cooked just right… Good lord! A perfect blend of earthy greens, pungent garlic and fantastic bacon infusion.
This southern collard greens recipe is: Gluten Free, Paleo and Low Carb.
A southern collard greens recipe that’ll make you wanna slap ya mama.
The first time I had really good collard greens was at a BBQ joint in the back hills of Georgia. It was love at first bite. I just wish that this experience had happened earlier in my life. Have you ever tasted something so good for the first time that you feel cheated that you never had it before? That’s how I felt the first time I had good collard greens. Then I tried to recreate them for a couple years and could never get them right.
Well, I got it right after receiving a little direction from my friend Randy. At my cooking school we put on a Cajun class. At the last minute Randy suggested that we add in a southern collard greens recipe. I immediately lit up. What a fantastic idea. Yes. It had to be added to the class, even if it pushed us over our time constraints for the class. Not only did he get the recipe right, it was perfect. Now, it’s my turn to share it with you.
Notes About Collard Greens
If you’re not familiar with collard greens, there are a few things to know. First, they are almost always dirty. Really dirty with a lot of grit. Even if they look clean, be sure to really rinse them well. Rub your fingers across the leaves to make sure that all the grit is removed. If you have time, soaking the leaves for about thirty minutes really helps to loosen the dirt from the leaves.
The next thing to keep in mind is that the stems are woody and tend not to soften much. I recommend removing any part of the stem that is the same size or bigger than a #2 pencil. If you want to remove the entire stem, feel free to do so. The smaller portion of the stem and the ribs will soften during the cooking process.
QUICK COOKING TIP: You’re going to want to cook the bacon in the same heavy bottom pot that you are going to cook the collard greens in. When you add the onion to the pot after the bacon has cooked, the water that is released from the onion will deglaze the pan and pull all the bacon goodness into the greens.
Let’s get to this southern collard greens recipe… it’s so good.
- 1 TBSP Olive Oil
- 3 Slices Uncooked Bacon
- 1 Onion peeled and diced (Spanish)
- 2 Cloves Garlic peeled and minced
- 1 LB Collard Greens washed and woody stems removed. Slice into 1" by 3" slices (see picture)
- 1 TSP Kosher Salt
- 1/2 TSP Fresh Cracked Pepper
- 3/4 Cup Chicken Stock any stock will do
- 1 Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
- In a high sided, heavy bottom pot add in the olive oil. Turn the heat to high. When the oil shimmers, add in the bacon. Reduce the temperature to medium. Cook the bacon until the fat has been rendered. Remove the bacon from the pot.
- Add in the onion and the kosher salt. Cover the pot and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping the brown bits off the bottom. While the onion is cooking, finely chop the cooked bacon.
- Add the garlic into the onions and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the chopped bacon and collard slices into the pot. Cook until the collards begin to wilt, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the red pepper flakes (optional, but delicious).
- Add in the stock. Mix. Cover the pot and cook over low heat for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Taste and serve hot!
Final thoughts on the southern collard greens recipe:
There’s nothing quite like the earthy goodness of collard greens combined with a punch of fresh garlic and the salty delicious bacon. They work perfectly together to create a side dish that would be wonderful with a pan seared fish, a hearty jambalaya or a delicious gumbo. I’m working on all these recipes now to put up on the blog as well… so stay tuned!
If you’re looking for some alternate side dishes, you might want to check out this delicious seared brussel sprout recipe or a truly simple roasted cauliflower. For something truly unique, give the butter braised carrots a try… it’s simple and delicious.
If you have any questions about making the collards or if you have a link to your favorite recipe, post it up in the comments! Thanks for reading-