SOUTHERN STYLE GREENS

 

My family roots are Georgia and Mississippi, so you can bet I grew up on collard greens.  I must admit, they weren’t my favorite as a 5 year old, but as I grew older and my taste buds matured, I came to love this southern classic!

Oh, and even though you’ll use a slotted spoon to serve it, don’t throw out the broth – that’s what’s known colloquially known as ‘pot liquor’ (a Southern chef might insist that it’s affectionately spelled potlikker).  This pot liquor makes for a flavorful stock for soups, stews, or grains, but many moms would have their children drink it down straight to cure whatever ails.  I still drink it straight!

PREP TIME:  10 min

 

COOK TIME:

Wonder bag Method: 30 min on the stove, 5-6 hours in the bag

Conventional Method:  30 min active time, 2+ hours simmering

 

SERVES:  8

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil

  • 4 oz (100g, roughly ¾ cup loosely packed) diced bacon or pancetta (spek)

  • 2 red onions, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1 pound (roughly 500 g) collard greens or kale, ribs removed and roughly chopped

  • 8 cups (roughly 2 litres) chicken or vegetable stock

  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tsp salt

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS
WONDERBAG METHOD

1)  Heat 1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil on medium-high in 4 quart (4.5 litre) pot.  Cook the pancetta for about 5 minutes, or until starts to get crispy.  Remove pancetta using a slotted spot (in order to leave the rendered fat in the pot) and set aside on a paper towel.

 

2)  Add onions and sauté for 10 minutes to bring out their sweetness.

 

3) Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds to activate their flavors.

 

4)  Add the greens and stock in batches, stirring to shrink down the greens and make space for the next batch.

 

5)  Add the vinegar, salt, and ¾ of the cooked pancetta (reserving ¼ for a crispy garnish).  Mix well and bring to a boil

 

6)  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

 

7)  Seal your lidded pot in the Wonderbag and leave it to cook for a minimum of 5-6 hours (best to leave it all day, the flavours intensify the longer you leave it).

CONVENTIONAL/STOVE METHOD

1)  Heat 1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil on medium-high in 4 quart (4.5 litre) pot.  Cook the pancetta for about 5 minutes, or until starts to get crispy.  Remove pancetta using a slotted spot (in order to leave the rendered fat in the pot) and set aside on a paper towel.

 

2)  Add onions and sauté for 10 minutes to bring out their sweetness.

 

3) Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds to activate their flavors.

 

4)  Add the greens and stock in batches, stirring to shrink down the greens and make space for the next batch.

 

5)  Add the vinegar, salt, and ¾ of the cooked pancetta (reserving ¼ for a crispy garnish).  Mix well and bring to a boil

 

6)  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 2 hours or more, stir occasionally.

 

You may have to add more water to the pot due to evaporation.

SERVE

 

Reheat the reserved pancetta and sprinkle on top of either individual bowls, or one large serving bowl for the table.

 

True southerners will add a dash of tabasco or hot sauce to their portion, so put that on the table and see if you have any takers!

Recipe & Photo Credit:  Cathy Menees

COOK'S NOTES

 

 

 

KITCHEN BUDDIES

The Wonderbag is perfect for this dish, as a true southerner would cook this all day long.  And with the Wonderbag, there's no evaporation, so the resulting 'pot liquor' tastes even better than Mom's (oops...that's the sound of her turning over in her grave)!  Sorry Mom.

 

 

INGREDIENTS

If using a lean bacon, you might need to add a bit more olive oil when you sauté your onions.  Your pot will look much too small for the mountain of greens that are going in, but they cook down by 50%, which is why you want to add them in batches.  This is a double recipe as it’s even better the next day, so we love having left overs of this.  In terms of flavor development, the longer you can leave this, the better.

 

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