Collard greens, revered for their slightly bitter taste and substantially thick leaves, make a delicious (and often required) side dish in a comforting southern meal. We love this sweet and spicy rendition because it adds a little grown-up kick to otherwise ordinary greens. The ham hock simmers in the slow cooker with the collards and onions, so you end up with well-rounded flavors perfect for serving with ribs, steak, pork or chicken (and let’s not forget the cornbread).
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 packages (16-oz. each) collard greens, rinsed and trimmed
- 1 smoked pork hock (about 1/2 lb.)
- 1 can (14.5 oz.) chicken broth
- 3 Tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Hot pepper sauce and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat to low and add collards, a handful at a time, stirring until greens begin to wilt (about 10 minutes). Add 1/4 cup water to the pot after the first bag of greens to help wilt the greens faster.
- Place pork hock in bottom of slow cooker crock and add mixture from Dutch oven. Top with wilted collard green mixture.
- Combine broth, brown sugar, garlic, salt, and crushed red pepper in medium bowl; pour over collard greens.
- Cover and cook on HIGH 3 to 3 1/2 hours until collards are tender.
- Pull meat from ham hock, add to greens and serve with hot pepper sauce, freshly ground black pepper and cornbread.
- If you have a slow cooker with stove-top safe cookware, substitute the cookware for the Dutch oven in the directions above. After sautéing, place cookware in base, cover and cook as directed in recipe.
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